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Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns 

and Villages of the Valley from the Time 

of Their First Settlement and 











" Genuine history is brought into existence only when the 
historian begins to unravel, across the lapse of time, the living 
man, toiling, impassioned, entrenched in his customs, with his 
voice and features, his gestures and dress, distinct and complete 
as he from whom we have just parted in the street." A history 
of a people which has passed away is the effort to make the past 
the present; to revivify the dead and present every phase of 
actual life as it once existed, with all its bad and good, its bless- 
ings and its sufferings; the home life, the public highway, the 
street, the field, men and women privately, collectively, at work 
and at play, socially and morally, as they once were here in the 
struggle for life. A picture most difficult, perhaps about impossi- 
ble to draw. Hence, to approach this perfection in any respect, 
will make a valuable book, and one whose lessons will remain 
perpetually to the coming generations. 

A history of a people must, therefore, carefully consider the 
race, the epoch, and the climate and soil and their combined 
effects in elucidating the causes, after the facts have been collated. 
Where the period of time covered by the story is short only a 
little more than a generation as in the history of this valley, 
the effects flowing out from these causes become shadowy and 
indistinct more difficult to trace out and fix clearly to the view, 
in due ratio to the brevity of the period which comes within the 
purview of the writer. 

These conceptions of history were unknown to our fore- 
fathers. They wrote of all men, looking always from the same 
standpoint, and from their abstract conceptions, exactly as 
though all men, of all ages, climes and surroundings, were exactly 


the same. Their conceptions and conclusions were abstract and, 
like their philosophy, were metaphysical, and whence comes the 
fact that real history is a modern discovery; not wholly but 
mostly so. 

So far as we can know, everything in all nature the whole 
mental and physical world is a growth, not in a single instance 
a miraculous bursting into the full bloom of existence. And 
that growth is governed by omnipotent laws. To know these 
laws and apply them to man, to the family, to society, to the 
community, to the state, to the race, is the exalted work of the 

In a historical point of view, then, "The present is com- 
pleting the past, and the past is explaining the present." And 
this becomes plain and its value incalculable in so far as we may 
from the records and data that come to our hands be enabled to 
point out the laws of growth that have led us to where we 
now are. 

Everything is a growth a development a passing from the 
simple to the complex. Thus it commences with the legends, then 
the traditions, the chronicles, the annals, and last, the history. 
Our people are agricultural in their pursuits. The Red River 
Valley will be the storehouse and granary of the world. It can 
always say to hungry man, "In thy Father's house is enough 
and to spare." With its wholesome and generous products, it 
will freight the ships whose sails will fleck every sea. Teach the 
people to read the secrets of the soil, and give them cheap trans- 
portation and the unobstructed and free markets of the world, 
and then, indeed, will come that boundless wealth which nurtures 
those master spirits among men who shape and fix the proud 
destiny of civilization. 

"Where once slow creeping glaciers passed 
Resistless o'er a frozen waste, 
Deep rooted in the virgin mould 
The dower of centuries untold." 

The Grand Forks Herald and the Cooper Publishing Com- 
pany have collaborated in producing this history of the famous 
Red River Valley, and wish to acknowledge and give due credit 


to the following named authors who have contributed to this 
work from their scientific research historical facts and personal 
reminiscences extending from the very earliest records of this 
region down to the present time : 

Warren Upham, Prof. E. J. Babeock, George B. Winship, 
Prof. H. L. Bolley, Prof. J. H. Shepperd, George N. Lamphere, 

B. G. Skulason ; Sveinbjorn Johnson, M. A. ; J. R. Cole, Webster 
Merrifield, Thomas D. Walker, Hon. James Twamley, Rt. Rev. 
Bishop Shanley, Rt. Rev. Bishop Cameron Mann, Rev. E. H. 
Stickney, Gen. A. P. Peake, William H. White, H. V. Arnold, 
A. H. Laughlin, Moorhead Independent, Hon. James H. Sharp, 
Prof. R. Bogstad, Mattie M. Davis, J. T. Mattson, Hon. William 
Watts, A. A. Miller, E. E. Mclntire, William Robinson, Hon. 
R. J. Montague, Edward Ballintine, Edward Nelson, Kittson 
Enterprise, John Mahon, William M. House, Gordon J. Keeney, 

C. G. Baearnstern, Fargo Forum, S. G. Roberts, Hon. Ed. Pierce, 
and Peter H. Konzen. 


Aaker, Hans H 456 

Administration Building, Agricultural College 308 

Beecher, David 342 

Belcourt, Father 390 

Blaisdell, Alfred 112 

Campus and Entrance Agricultural College 302 

Carmody, Hon. John 124 

Chemical Laboratory Agricultural College 312 

Cooper, E. C 86 

Crum, Taylor 136 

Drive Near Devils Lake 18 

Engineering Building, Agricultural College 318 

Engineering Bldg., Chemical Laboratory, Agricultural College. . 322 

Fargo College 524 

Farm Scene in Red Eiver Valley 54 

First Church in Eed River Valley 410 

Fisk, Hon. Charles J 100 

Francis Hall, Agricultural College 326 

Gilbreath, W. C 148 

Gray, Enos 484 

Haggart, John E 180 

Hanna, Louis B , 196 

Hazlett, L. C 572 

Hill, James J Frontispiece 

Hubbard, Newton K 534 

Kelley, J. Nelson 560 

Kennedy, James 490 

Later Farm House 44 



Lewis, Eobert S 260 

Library, Laboratory Agricultural College 330 

Linwell, Martin 160 

Mathews, James H 248 

McCoy, Eobert H 174 

McDonald, Aaron 272 

Murphy, M. F 542 

On Tongue Eiver 24 

Peake, Gen. A. P 462 

Pembina Eiver and Mountains 32 

Poupore, Joseph E 216 

Price, W. J 478 

Eoberts, S. G 500 

Eoberts, Mrs. S. G 510 

Sarles, E. Y 232 

St. Luke's Hospital, Fargo 518 

Settlers Sod House 62 

Shanley, Et, Eev. Bishop 378 

Skulason, Bardi G 552 

Spaulding, Hon. Burleigh F 284 

Stevens, J. E 422 

Talcott, Frank S 296 

Tributary to the Eed Eiver , 38 

Turner, James 436 

Twamley, James 74 

Twichell, Treadwell 358 

White, William H 470 

Worst, John H . 446 



By Warren Upham. 

Topographic Features. The Archean Era. Paleozoic Time. 
Mesozoic Time. Cenozoic Time. The Ice Age. Glacial Lake 
Agassiz. Length of Time Since the Ice Age. 


By E. J. Babcock. 
Turtle Mountains. Devil's Lake. Drift. 

Election Notice. Territorial Government Granted. Territorial 
Officers. Territorial Voting Precincts. First Territorial Legis- 
lature. North Dakota as a State. Official Vote for Governor. 
Proclamation of Admission. Governors. Lieutenant Governors. 
Secretaries of State. Auditors. Treasurers. Attorney Generals. 
Superintendent of Public Instruction. Commissioners of Agri- 
culture and Labor. Commissioners of Insurance. Commissioners 
of Railroads. Judges of Supreme Court. Judges of District 
Courts. First Session State Legislature. 



By George B. Winship. 

Visit Robert Dale Owen. First Post Office. Pembina County 
Organized. Episode on the Red River. Northern Pacific Rail- 
road Completed to Moorhead. Permanent Settlement. First 
Telegraph Line. Winship Established the Acton News. First 
Judicial District. First Religious Services. Fargo and Moor- 
head. Drouth of 1872. Development of River Traffic. United 
States Land Office at Pembina. Coming of the Scandinavians. 
United States Land Office at Grand Forks. Close of Claim 
Shanty Period 1883. 


Old Settlers' Organization. List of Membership. Date of 
Meetings. Eligibility. Historical Data. Incorporation. By- 
Laws. Officers and Directors. Reunion June 12, 1900. Pro- 
gramme. The Old Sod Shack. Senate Bill 196. Report of 
Auxiliary Organizations. Purchase of a Park Site. Annual 
Meeting 1896 at Fargo. 

Incidents. Early Settlement North Dakota. Old Time Wedding 
Festivities. Old Timer's Story. R. M. Probstfield. The Oldest 
Settler. Edwin Griffin. Fort Abercrombie a Place of Refuge. 
The Siege. Winship Hotel. Budge's Tavern. 




By H. L. Bolley. 

First Regular Collection. Potato Scab. Results of Investigation. 
Formaldehyde Treatment of Seed Grain. Bacteriological Study. 
Tree Planting. 


By Prof. J. H. Shepard. 

Geological Formation. Wonderful Fertility. Early Crops. Primi- 
tive Agricultural Implements. Early Settlements. Tests. Crop 
Evolution. Early Mail Routes. Early Doubters. Convincing 
Argument. Coming of the Railroad. Bonanza Farms. James 
Hole's Experiments. North Dakota Experimental Station. 
Diversification of Crops. Red River Valley Potato. Growing of 
Tame Grasses. Gardening and Fruit Growing. Drainage Benefits. 
Grain Growers and Other Associations. Farmers' Institute. 


By Hon. George Lamphere. 

Description of Red River Valley. Wheat Raising in the Selkirk 
Settlement. Early Flouring Mills. Grasshoppers. First Mail 
Route. First Wheat Raising. Pioneer Farmers. Early Wheat 
Raising near Fort Abercrombie. Dalrymple Farm. Grandin 
Farm. Increase in Population and Wealth. Cause of Occasional 
Failures. Railroad Freight Rates. Old and New Methods of 
Wheat Farming. Statistical Tables. Charles Cavalier's Letters. 
Greatness of Minnesota Resources. 


By B. G. Skulason and Sveinbjorn Johnson, M. A. 
Norwegians in the Red River Valley. Date of First Settlement. 
N. E. Nelson First Norwegian Settler in North Dakota. Nor- 
wegians the Most Numerous of the Foreign Born Citizens of the 
Valley. Political Importance of the Norwegians. Icelanders in 
the Red River Valley. Fallacy of Popular Ideas Concerning 
Iceland. Historical Facts. First Settlement in Wisconsin. First 
Settlers in the Red River Valley. A Progressive People. 


By J. R. Cole. 

Origin. Different Tribes. What Different Writers Say About 
Them. Religious History. The Indian Legends. Mortality. 
Indian as a Farmer. Industrial Schools. Little Fish, Last of 
the Chiefs. 


Violation of Treaties and Thieving Indian Agents Cause of the 
Outbreak. Chief Little Crow. Beginning of the Massacre. 
Sibley's Expedition. Defeat of Chief Little Crow. Alice Nelson 
Page. Synopsis of the Indian Case. Losses Not Reimbursed. 



By Webster Merrifield. 

University of North Dakota. North Dakota Agricultural College. 
State Normal Schools. Mayville Normal School. Valley City 
Normal School. State School of Science. Fargo College. Wesley 



A Trip to Black Hills by Ox Cart. Yung Bear's Ox Cart. 
Transportation by Sledge. Travoise and Cart Dog Train. Stage. 


Captain Alexander Griggs. Captain C. B. Thimens. Ballad of 
the Red. 


Northern Pacific Railroad. Great Northern Railroad. The 
Steamships Dakota and Minnesota. 


Passing of the Selfrake Reaper. Red River Valley Trial Ground 
for Harvesting Machinery. 


By Thomas B. Walker. 

The Importance of Timber Culture. Probable Substitutes for 


By James Twamley. 

Charter of the Hudson Bay Fur Company. Lord Selkirk's 
Colony. Business Method. 



By Rt. Rev. Bishop Shanley. 

Discovery of the Red River Valley. Catholic Missions in the 
Valley. Arrival of the First Missionary Priests at Ft. Douglas, 
1818. Location of Ft. Douglas. Third Destruction of the 
Colony by Grasshoppers. Encouragement from Lord Selkirk. 
Death of Lord Selkirk. Consolidation of Northwest and Hudson 
Bav Fur Companies. Abandonment of Mission at Pembina. 
Great Flood of 1826. Arrival of Fathers Aubert and Tache. 
Arrival of Father Belcourt. Narrative of Bishop Tache. 
Chronology of the Church. Diocese of North Dakota. Correc- 
tion of Historical Errors. 


By Rt. Rev. Bishop Cameron Mann. 

Rev. J. C. Talbot, Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. Per- 
sonnel of the Early Missionaries of the Church of the Valley. 
Rev. Cameron Mann Made Bishop in North Dakota. Establish- 
ment of the North Dakota Sheaf. Growth and Present Status 
of the Church. Baptist Church. Ordained Baptist Ministers in 
the State. Presbyterian Church. Presbyterian Church of 

By Rev. Edwin H. Stickney. 


By George B. Winship. 

First Newspaper Published in the Red River Valley. Summary 
of Red River Valley Newspapers. 


By George B. Winship. 

Early Legislation. Railroad Land Grants. Drainage. Industrial 
and Charitable Institutions. Capital Removal. Prohibition. 
Louisiana Lottery. Political Reminiscences. 



By Gen. A. P. Peake. 


By William H. White. 

Early Settlement. Narrative of George Northrup. Early Per- 
manent Pioneers. Eival Land Companies. Organization of the 
County Seat. First County Officials. Centralia the First Post 
Office. Growth of Towns and Cities of the County. 


City and Origin of the Name. Location. Organization. Early 
Events. Puget Sound Land Company. Quieting of Indian Title. 
First Township Plat. Father Genin's Mission House. Busy 
Summer of 1872. Organization of Fargo Township. Completion 
of the Courthouse. Masonic Temple. Street Eailways. Great 
Fire of 1893. Names of Mayors. Navigation of the Eed Eiver. 
Fargo of Today. Banks and Banking. Commercial Club. The 
Press. Cass County Agricultural Society. State Fair Association. 
Educational History. St. John's Hospital. St. Luke's Hospital. 
Osteopathy Infirmary. Commercial. Churches. Casselton. 
Tower City. Buffalo. 


By H. V. Arnold. 

Historical Outline. Aborigines. Mound Builders. Fur Compa- 
nies. Selkirk Colony. Isolation of the Country. Major Long's 
Expedition. Old Times in the Valley. Jean Nicollet. Buffalo 
Hunt. Traders and Trappers. Major Woods. Captain Pope. 
Political Eepresentation. Grip of the Fur Trade. Beginning of 
Eed Eiver Steamboat Era. Episode of the Freighter. First 
Steamer on Eed Eiver. Stage Line. Hatche's Battalion. Cun- 
ningham's Expedition. Disappearance of the Buffalo. Manitoba 
Opened Up. First Settlement. Old Cart Trails. Organization 
of the County. U. S. Land Office. Timber Settlements. North- 
wood Settlements. Turtle Eiver Township. Bachelor's Grove. 
Forest Eiver Settlement. Old Wagon Trail. Fort Trotten Trail. 


The Post Office. City Schools. Churches. Deaconess Hospital. 
Manufacturers. Hotels and Early Boardinghouses. Fire Depart- 
ment. Water Works. Commercial. 


By H. V. Arnold. 


By John Mahon. 

Early History of 1799. Farming Began 1810. Joe Eolett. 
Squatter Settlers. County Organized. Cavalier County Organ- 
ized. Early Settlers. Tragedy of Alga. Natural Scenery. 
Eeminiscenees of Fifty Years. 

By Mrs. Cavalier. 


Location. Physical Aspect. Eailroads. Organization of County. 
Shipping Point. Valuation. Schools. County Officers. 


Description by Walsh County Eecord. 


Eeminiscences by Early Settlers. Bush of 1880 and 1881. Be- 
ginning of Grafton. First Church. First School. First News- 
paper. County Organization. Origin of Names. First Perma- 
nent Settlement. Biography, Cashel & Cooper. 


The First Claim. First Election. Organization and County Offi- 
cials. County Seat Contest. Strong Hold of Prohibition. 
Present Members of Legislature. County Officials. 


By William M. House. 

Favorable Location. Era and Drainage. Early Settlement. 
Organization. First County Officials. Wonderful Growth. Fort 


Valley City. The First Settlement. County Organized as Bur- 
bank. County of Barnes Organized. First Election. First Taxes 
Paid. Valley City Incorporated. M. E. Church. Lodges. News- 
papers. Public Schools. Normal School. Old Settlers. Descrip- 
tion of the County. Statistics. Villages. 


By A. H. Laughlin. 

Agricultural Possibilities. Old Landmarks. Fort Eansom. 
County Organized. District Courts. Historical. Oswego Colony. 
Sibley Trail. Fourth of July on Cheyenne. Camp Hayes. Gold 
Excitement of 1883. Schools. City of Lisbon. Churches. Old 
Soldiers' Home. Buttz and Colton Contest. Bench and Bar. 
Sheldon, Enderlin and Other Villages. 


From Moorhead Independent. 

A Poem in Prose. Geographically Considered. Early Patriotism. 
Natural Eesources. Diversified Farming. School Land. Soil and 
Climate. School System. Minnesota as a Summer Eesort. 
Opportunities. State Fair. 


By Hon. James H. Sharp. 

Crossing the Eed Eiver by the Northern Pacific Eailroad. Andrew 
Hole's View of Country. First Sale of Government Land. Some 
Early Settlers. Primitive Transportation. Clay County Organ- 
ized. First County Officers. Present County Officers. Lively 
Times of 1872. Steamboat Line. Descriptive Moorhead. Fire 
Department. Commercial Club. Public Schools. Normal School. 
Concordia College. Swedish Hospital. Darrow Hospital. 
Churches. The Press. Banks and Banking. Glyndon. Kurtz. 
Hawley. Sabin. Georgetown. Barnesville. Ulen. Comstock. 


Organization. First County Officers. Great Northern Eailroad. 
First Grand Jury. Organization of Townships. District Judges. 
Some Old Settlers. Public Schools. City of Warren. Churches. 


By Hon. William Watts. 

Boundaries and Area. General Character of Surface. Early 
Settlement. The Eailroad. Steamboat Traffic. Pioneer Life. 


County Organization. Town Organization. Railway Extension. 
Fisher's Landing. Some of the Pioneers. Revival of Immigra- 
tion. The Railroad Land Grant. Large Farms. The French 
Colony. Rapid Settlement. Judicial History. Bar Sketches. 
United States Land Office. Sketches of Officials. ^ Political 
History. County Division. Farming Methods. Population. Val- 
uation. Officers. Military. Schools. Banks and Banking. 


Public Schools. Experiment Farm. School of Agriculture. 
Eclectic Business College. Lodges. Churches. 


By Edward Ballentine. 

Location. Organization and Change of Names. Boundary. 
Early Water Transportation. First Permanent Settlement. De- 
struction of Breckenridge. Some Early Settlers. First Farm in 
Wilkin County. Building of the Railroad. Location of Towns. 
Blizzard of '79. Railroad Bonds. Physical Aspect of the 
County. Drainage Ditches. Population. Transportation. Schools. 


By Edward Nelson. 

Origin. Organization of Townships. Churches. Banks and 
Banking. County Building. County Officers. Schools. News- 
papers. Hallock. St. Vincent. Bench and Bar. Lower Red 
River Valley. Immigrants. Wheat. The Swiss. Transporta- 
tion. Climate. Wild Fruits. 


Location. Population. Post Offices. Cities and Villages. In- 
dustries. Banks and Banking. The Press. 






Warren Upham, 

Secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, Formerly Assistant 

on the Geological Surveys of New Hampshire, Minnesota, 

the United States, and Canada. 

Topographic Features. 

The Red River of the North, so named to distinguish it from 
the Red river of Louisiana, flows through an exceedingly flat 
plain, which descends imperceptibly northward, as also from each 
side to its central line. Along the axial depression the river 
has cut a channel twenty to sixty feet deep. It is bordered by 
only few and narrow areas of bottomland, instead of which its 
banks usually rise steeply on one side, and by moderate slopes 
on the other, to the broad valley plain which thence reaches 
nearly level ten to twenty-five miles from the river. Its tribu- 
taries cross the plain in similar channels, which, as also the Red 



river, have occasional gullies connected with them, dry through 
most of the year, varying from a few hundred feet to a mile or 
more in length. Between the drainage lines, areas often five to 
fifteen miles wide remain unmarked by. any water courses. The 
highest portions of these tracts are commonly from two to five 
feet above the lowest. 

This vast plain, twenty-five to fifty miles wide and 300 miles 
long, lying half in Minnesota and half in North Dakota, thence 
continuing into Manitoba and so stretching from Lake Traverse 
and Breckenridge north to Lake Winnipeg, is the widely famed 
Ked River valley. The material of the lower part of the valley 
plain, shown in the banks of the Red river and reaching usually 
five to fifteen miles from it, is fine clayey silt, horizontally strati- 
fied ; but at its south end, in Traverse county and the south half 
of Wilkin county, Minnesota, through the adjoining part of 
Richland county, North Dakota, and upon large areas of each 
side of this plain, it is mainly unstratified boulder clay, which 
differs from the rolling or undulating till of the adjoining region 
only in having its surface nearly flat. Both these formations are 
almost impervious to water, which, therefore, in the rainy season 
fills their shallow depressions, but none of these are so deep as 
to form permanent lakes. Even sloughs which continue marshy 
through the summer are infrequent, but where they do occur, as 
on some of the streams tributary to the Red river, they cover 
large areas, sometimes several miles in extent. 

In crossing this almost perfectly level valley on clear days, 
the higher land at its sides, and the groves along its rivers, are 
first seen in the distance as if their upper edges were raised a 
little above the horizon, with a very narrow strip of sky below. 
The first appearance of the tree tops thus somewhat resembles 
that of dense flocks of birds flying very low several miles away. 
By rising a few feet, as from the ground to a wagon, or by nearer 
approach, the outlines become clearly defined as a grove, with a 
mere line of sky beneath it. 

Besides this mirage, the traveler is also reminded, in the same 
manner as at sea, that the earth is round. The surface of the 
plain is seen only for a distance of three or four miles; houses 
and grain stacks have their tops visible first, after which, in 


approaching, they gradually come into full view; and the high- 
lands, ten or fifteen miles away, forming the side of the valley, 
apparently lie beyond a wide depression, like a distant high coast. 

On nearly all the area drained by the Red river the glacial 
drift is so thick that no exposures of the underlying rocks have 
been found. Along the flat valley plain, the average depth of the 
drift is from about 100 to 200 feet. The prominent topographic 
features of all this region are doubtless due to the form of the 
underlying rock surface, upon which the drift is spread in a sheet 
of somewhat uniform thickness. Subaerial denudation and stream 
erosion, during the Tertiary era and the early part of Quater- 
nary time, preceding the Ice Age, had sculptured this broad and 
flat valley trough and the inclosing uplands which on each side 
gradually rise 200 to 500 feet above the valley. 

Lakes in northern and central Becker county, Minnesota, 
forming the sources of Otter Tail river, the head stream of the 
Red river, are 1,400 to 1,500 feet above the sea ; Otter Tail lake, 
1,315 feet; Lake Clitherall, 1,334; and the East and West Battle 
lakes, 1,328. The Red river at Fergus Falls descends about eighty 
feet in three miles, from 1,210 to 1,130 feet; at Breckenridge and 
Wahpeton its height at the stage of low water is 943 feet; at 
Moorhead and Fargo, 866 feet ; at Grand Forks, 784 ; at St. Vin- 
cent and Pembina, 748; and at the city of Winnipeg, 724 feet 
above the sea. 

The range between the lowest and highest stages of the Red 
river much surpasses that of any other river in Minnesota or 
North Dakota. At Breckenridge and Wahpeton the range is 
about fifteen feet, but it increases rapidly northward, becoming 
thirty-two feet at Moorhead and Fargo, attaining its maximum 
of fifty feet near the mouth of the Sand Hill river in the south 
part of Polk county, Minnesota, and continuing nearly at forty 
feet from Grand Forks to the international boundary and Winni- 
peg. Floods rising nearly or quite to the high-water line thus 
noted have been rare, occurring in 1826, 1852, 1860, 1861, and 
1882. They are caused in the spring by the melting of unusual 
supplies of snow and by heavy rains, and often are increased by 
gorges of ice, which is usually broken up along the southern 
upper portion of the river earlier than along its lower course. 


These floods attain a height only a few feet below the level of the 
adjoining prairie where that is highest, and along the greater part 
of the distance between Fargo and Winnipeg the banks are over- 
flowed and the flat land on each side of the river to a distance of 
two to four miles from it is covered with water one to five feet or 
more in depth. 

The Archean Era. 

Granite, syenite, greenstone, gneiss, and schists, belonging to 
the Archean or Beginning era, reach on the northern boundary 
of Minnesota from Gunflint and Saganaga lakes west to the Lake 
of the Woods. They thence extend south upon a large part of 
St. Louis and Itasca counties to the Vermilion and Mesabi ranges, 
famed for their immense deposits of iron ore. 

A narrow Archean belt continues from this great area south- 
ward, mostly covered by the glacial drift, and expands into a 
second large area of these rocks in central Minnesota, reaching 
from Todd, Morrison and Stearns counties northeast to Carlton 
county and south to New Ulm. The extensive granite quarries 
near St. Cloud and Sauk Eapids are in this area. 

The same rocks also underlie a large district west of New Ulm, 
extending to the western boundary of Minnesota, mainly covered 
by Cretaceous beds and glacial drift. In that part of the Minne- 
sota Eiver valley, channeled about 150 feet below the general 
level of the country, the Archean granites and gneisses are seen 
in many and extensive outcrops, and have been much quarried at 
Ortonville, near the mouth of Big Stone lake. 

Archean time, during which these oldest rocks were formed, 
was exceedingly long, perhaps equalling all the later eras. Its early 
part may be termed azoic, from the absence of any evidences that 
the earth or the sea then had either plant or animal life. 

Paleozoic Time. 

Next after the Archean was a very long era characterized by 
ancient types of life, as its name Paleozoic signifies. The chief 
divisions of this era have been named by geologists the Cambrian, 
Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian periods, succeed- 
ing each other in this order. 


In journeying from south to north along the Red River valley, 
the first rock exposures found are Lower Silurian strata, chiefly 
magnesian limestones, which outcrop in Manitoba at numerous 
localities twelve to twenty miles north-northeast of Winnipeg, 
and similar outcrops, probably in part of Upper Silurian age, 
which rise above the general surface of drift five to twenty miles 
northwesterly from Winnipeg and at about the same distance 
west of the river. Farther north, Lower Silurian rocks are ex- 
posed on many of the islands of Lake Winnipeg and along its 
western shore, but no exposures of the underlying Cambrian beds, 
which are penetrated by the artesian well at Grafton, North 
Dakota, have been found in this region. Against the western 
border of the folded and eroded Archean rocks the Lower Silu- 
rian formations repose with nearly horizontal stratification. Their 
general dip, varying from a few feet to ten feet or more per mile, 
is westward, at right angles with the axis of Lake Winnipeg and 
the line of junction of the Archean and Paleozoic rocks. 

West of these Lower Silurian strata, rocks of Devonian age, 
mostly pale-gray or bluff magnesian limestones, occur on Lakes 
Manitoba and Winnipegosis, as reported in 1884 by Dr. George 
M. Dawson; ''and it is probable," he wrote, "that the intervening 
formations will be found to be extensively developed in the Lake 
Winnipeg region as it is more fully examined." 

Subsequent exploration of this region by Mr. J. B. Tyrrell 
resulted in the discovery of Upper Silurian strata, containing 
fossils characteristic of the Niagara formation, on the lower part 
of the Saskatchewan river and on the east side of Lakes Mani- 
toba and Winnipegosis. All the Paleozoic formations in the lake 
region of Manitoba, from the St. Peter sandstone to the highest 
Devonian beds exposed, are stated by Mr. Tyrrell to be "practi- 
cally conformable and almost undisturbed throughout." 

This region has no Carboniferous nor Permian strata, belong- 
ing to the closing periods of Paleozoic time. If any sediments 
were then laid down here, they have since been eroded and re- 
moved during long ensuing ages, when the basin of the Red river 
was a land surface. Probably it stood above the sea, receiving no 
marine nor estuarine deposits, but undergoing slow erosion by 


rains, rills, and rivers, bearing sediments away, during the Car- 
boniferous period and onward until the Cretaceous period. 

Mesozoic Time. 

Through the early and greater part of the Mesozoic era, so 
named from its intermediate types of plants and animals, this 
river basin appears to have been a land area, receiving therefore 
no additions to its rock formations. The floras and faunas of 
this time were gradually changed from their primitive and ancient 
characters, called Paleozoic, but had not yet attained to the rela- 
tively modern or new forms which give the name Cenozoic to 
the next era. 

Toward the end of the Cretaceous period, in late Mesozoic 
time, this area was again mostly depressed beneath the sea. Fre- 
quent outcrops of Cretaceous shales and sandstone, continuous 
from their great expanse on the western plains, occur in some 
parts of central and southern Minnesota ; and in numerous other 
places, deep wells, after passing through the thick covering of 
glacial drift, encounter these Cretaceous strata, which sometimes 
are found to reach to a thickness of several hundred feet. Fur- 
ther evidence of the eastward extension of the Cretaceous sea 
upon this state is afforded in its northern part by Horace V. Win- 
chell's discoveries of Cretaceous shales in place on the Little 
Fork of the Rainy river and on the high Mesabi iron range. 

During the following Cenozoic era, when this was a land 
region subjected to erosion, its Cretaceous deposits were largely 
carried away; but a remaining portion, in some tracts having 
considerable depth, probably still lies beneath the drift on the 
greater part of the western four-fifths of Minnesota. Concerning 
its eastern limit, Professor N. H. Winchell writes: "A line 
drawn from the west end of Hunter's Island, on the Canadian 
boundary line, southward to Minneapolis, and thence southeast- 
wardly through Rochester to the Iowa state line, would, in gen- 
eral, separate that part of the state in which the Cretaceous is 
not known to exist from that in which it does. It is not here 
intended to convey the idea that the whole state west of this line 
is spread over with the Cretaceous, because there are many places 
where the drift lies directly on the Silurian or earlier rocks ; but 


throughout this part of the state the Cretaceous exists at least 
in patches, and perhaps once existed continuously." 

Farther north, along the west line of the lower part of the 
Red River valley and of Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegosis, Cre- 
taceous beds rest upon the Lower and Upper Silurian and Devo- 
nian strata that form the floor of this broad, flat valley, beneath 
its glacial, lacustrine, and fluvial deposits. Thence northwest- 
ward to the Mackenzie river and the Arctic ocean, Cretaceous 
formations border and overlie the west part of the Silurian and 
Devonian belt. West from the Red river, the Cretaceous area in 
North Dakota and Montana, and in the Dominion of Canada, has 
a width of 600 to 700 miles, including the entire region of the 
elevated plains, and terminating at the east base of the Rocky 

Cenozoic Time. 

Ever since the uplift of the Red River basin from the Creta- 
ceous sea, it has stood above the sea level and has received no 
marine sediments. It was instead being slowly sculptured by 
rains and streams through the long periods of the Tertiary era; 
and during a part of the relatively short Quaternary era it was 
deeply covered by snow and ice similar to the ice-sheets that now 
envelop the interior of Greenland and the Antarctic continent. 

These two eras, or principal divisions of geologic history, may 
be here classed together as a single Cenozoic era, distinguished 
by the evolutionary creation of new and present types of life. 
Nearly all the plants and animals of the preceding eras have dis- 
appeared, as also many that lived in the early Cenozoic periods, 
while new species succeeding them make up the present floras 
and faunas. 

The creation of man, his dispersion over the earth, and his 
development in the white, black, yellow, and red races, took place 
during the later part of Cenozoic time, which is often called the 
Pleistocene (meaning the newest) period or the Quaternary era. 
Finally the dominance of mankind in the history of the earth, 
with utilization of its vast resources, forms another grand time 
division which has been called the Psychozoic era, distinguished 
by the higher life and dominion of the mind or soul. Thus the 


Tertiary, Quaternary, and Psychozoic divisions of time are suc- 
cessive parts of the Cenozoic era, continuing to the present day. 

Kains, rills and rivulets, creeks and rivers, have been slowly 
but constantly wearing away the Cretaceous formations of the 
Northwest since their elevation above the sea and the drainage 
of the immense Laramie lake, which for a long period covered 
much of their area. When these marine and lacustrine deposits 
were first raised to be dry land, they had a monotonously flat 
surface ; and they probably extended east, as we have seen, over 
the entire basin of the Bed Eiver of the North and of the great 
lakes of Manitoba, from which they now reach to the Rocky 
mountains. The greater part of the present Cretaceous area, 
though eroded far below its original surface, is flat, undulating, 
or only moderately rolling, and constitutes a broad expanse 
of plains with very slow ascent westward. But here and there 
isolated areas of much higher hilly land, as the Turtle mountain, 
consist of remnants of horizontal Cretaceous strata which else- 
where have suffered denudation over all the surrounding country. 
The plains have been formed by the erosion of this vast area to a 
uniform base-level, excepting only the isolated hilly tracts of com- 
paratively small extent, which serve to show that on the eastern 
part of the plains, in North Dakota and southwestern Manitoba, 
a thickness of not less than 500 to 1,000 feet of the Laramie, Fox 
Hills, and Fort Pierre formations has been carried away. 

When the depth and great extent of this denudation are 
compared with those of the subsequent erosion which formed 
the Eed River valley and the lowland adjoining the Manitoba 
lakes by the removal of the former eastern part of the Creta- 
ceous plains to the limit of the great escarpment west of this 
valley, the early base-leveling seems probably to have occupied 
the Eocene and Miocene periods, with nearly all of the Pliocene, 
comprising nine-tenths or a longer portion of the whole Ter- 
tiary era. 

At the time of the later uplifting of the plains near the end 
of the Pliocene period, this great base-leveled region appears to 
have stretched from the Rocky mountains to the Archean hills 
of northern Minnesota, and to have included also the expanse 
of flat or only moderately undulating country which slowly falls 


from Lake Winnipeg and the upper part of the Nelson river 
toward Hudson bay. 

The eastern margin of these plains was then subjected to 
renewed erosion, removing the mostly soft Cretaceous strata upon 
a width of a hundred miles or more and to a depth westward of 
several hundred feet. Previous to this new cycle of active work 
by the streams, Riding and Duck mountains in Manitoba stood 
above the general level, like Turtle mountain and other isolated 
high areas farther west; and the maximum depth of the late 
stream-cutting by which the trough of the Red River valley was 
formed is approximately measured by the height of the Pembina 
Mountain escarpment, which rises 300 to 400 feet from its base 
to its crest along its extent of about 80 miles. The greater part 
of this erosion we must attribute to the probably long time of 
elevation preceding, and finally at its climax producing, the ice- 
sheet of the Glacial period. So far as can be discerned, the entire 
hydrographic basin of the Red river may have continued, through 
all these vicissitudes of changes of level, excepting when it was 
wholly or partially ice-covered, to be drained in the same north 
and northeast direction as during the Tertiary era and at the 
present day. 

Tertiary and early Quaternary erosion had sculptured the 
grand features of this river basin, and its whole extent probably 
had approximately the same contour immediately before the accu- 
mulation of the ice-sheet as at the present time. The surface 
of the feldspathic Archean rocks was doubtless in many places 
decomposed and kaolinized as it is now seen where they are 
uncovered in the Minnesota River valley, and as such rocks are 
frequently changed to a considerable depth in regions that have 
not been glaciated. On these and all the other rock formations 
the ordinary disintegrating and eroding agencies of rain and 
frost had been acting through long ages. Much of the loose 
material thus supplied had been carried by streams to the sea, 
but certainly much remained and was spread in general with 
considerable evenness over the surface, collecting to the greatest 
depth in valleys, while on ridges or hilltops it would be thin or 
entirely washed away. Except where it had been transported 
by streams and consequently formed stratified deposits, the only 


fragments of rock held in this mass would be from underlying 
or adjoining rocks. The surface then probably had more small 
inequalities than now, due to the irregular action of the processes 
of weathering and denudation, which are apt to spare here and 
there isolated cliffs, ridges, and hillocks ; but most of these minor 
features of the topography have been obliterated by glacial 
erosion or buried under the thick mantle of the drift. 

The Ice Age. 

The last among the completed periods of geology was the Ice 
age, most marvelous in its strange contrast with the present time, 
and also unlike any other period during the almost inconceivably 
long, uniformly warm or temperate eras which had preceded. 
The northern half of North America and northern Europe then 
became enveloped with thick sheets of snow and ice, probably 
caused chiefly by uplifts of the land as extensive high plateaus, 
receiving snowfall throughout the year. But in other parts of 
the world, and especially in its lower temperate and tropical 
regions, all the climatic conditions were doubtless then nearly as 
now, permitting plants and animals to survive and nourish until 
the departure of the ice-sheets gave them again opportunity to 
spread over the northern lands. 

High preglacial elevation of the drift-bearing regions is known 
by the depths of fjords and submerged continuations of river 
valleys, which on the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific coasts of the 
north part of North America show the land to have been elevated 
at least 2,000 to 3,000 feet higher than now. In Norway the 
bottom of the Sogne fjord, the longest and deepest of the many 
fjords of that coast, is 4,000 feet below the sea level. Previous 
to the Glacial period or Ice age, and doubtless causing its abun- 
dant snowfall, so high uplift of these countries had taken place 
that streams flowed along the bottoms of the fjords, channelling 
them as very deep gorges on the borders of the land areas. 

Under the vast weight of the ice-sheets, however, the lands 
sank to their present level, or mostly somewhat lower, whereby 
the temperate climate, with hot summers, properly belonging to 
the southern portions of the ice-clad regions, was restored. The 
ice-sheets were then rapidly melted away, though with numerous 



pauses or sometimes slight readvances of the mainly receding 
glacial boundary. 

On certain belts the drift was left in hills and ridges, accu- 
mulated during this closing stage of the Glacial period along 
the margin of the ice wherever it halted in its general retreat or 
temporarily readvanced. Upon the greater part of Minnesota and 
North Dakota the only hills are formed of this morainic drift, 
ranging in height commonly from 25 to 75 to 100 feet, but occa- 
sionally attaining much greater altitude, as in the Leaf hills of 
Otter Tail county, Minnesota, which rise from 100 to 350 feet 
above the moderately undulating country on each side. 

Unstratified glacial drift, called till or boulder clay, which 
was laid down by the ice-sheet without modification by water 
transportation, assorting, and deposition in beds, forms the sur- 
face of probably two-thirds, or a larger part, of these states and 
of Manitoba. It consists of boulders, gravel, sand, and clay, 
mingled indiscriminately together in a very hard and compact 
formation, which therefore is frequently called "hardpan." The 
boulders of the till are usually so plentiful that they are sprinkled 
somewhat numerously on its surface ; yet there are seldom more, 
on the large portions of the country which are adapted for agri- 
culture, than the farmer needs to use, after clearing them from 
his fields, for the foundations of buildings and for walling up his 
cellar and well. They are rarely abundant enough to make walls 
for the inclosure of fields, as in New England. 

The moraine belts of knolly and hilly till have far more abun- 
dant boulders than are found on its more extensive comparatively 
smooth tracts. Wherever the vicissitudes of the wavering climate 
caused the chiefly waning border of the ice-sheet to remain nearly 
stationary during several years, the outflow toward the melting 
steep frontal slope brought much drift which had been contained 
in the lower part of the ice, heaping it finally in hills and ridges 
along the ice margin. Twelve of these marginal belts of drift 
knolls and hills have been traced in irregularly looped courses 
across Minnesota, as described and mapped in the reports of that 
state ; and west of the Red River valley these knolly drift belts 
continue through the northeastern half of North Dakota, and 
onward across the international boundary. 


About a third part of the entire mantle of drift consists of the 
deposits called modified drift, being waterworn and stratified 
gravel, sand, and clay or silt, which were washed away from the 
drift upon and beneath the retreating ice-sheet by the streams 
due to its melting and to accompanying rains. Hillocks and 
ridges of gravel and sand (called kames and eskers), sand pla- 
teaus and plains, and the valley drift (varying from very coarse 
gravel to very fine clay, often eroded so that its remnants form 
terraces), are the principal phases of the modified drift. In being 
derived directly from the ice-sheet, these deposits had the same 
origin as the glacial drift forming the common till and the 
greater part of the marginal moraines ; but they were modified, 
large boulders being not included, while the gravel and finer 
portions were brought, further pulverized or rounded, and 
assorted in layers, by water. 

Glacial Lake Agassiz. 

When the departing ice-sheet, in its melting off the land from 
south to north, receded beyond the watershed dividing the basin 
of the Minnesota river from that of the Red river, a lake, fed 
by the glacial melting, stood at the foot of the ice fields, and 
extended northward as they withdrew along the valley of the 
Red river to Lake Winnipeg, filling this broad valley to the height 
of the lowest point over which an outlet could be found. Until 
the ice barrier was melted on the area now crossed by the Nelson 
river, thereby draining this glacial lake, its outlet was along the 
present course of the Minnesota river. At first its overflow was 
on the nearly level undulating surface of the drift, 1,100 to 1,125 
feet above the sea, at the west side of Traverse and Big Stone 
counties; but in the process of time this cut a channel there, 
called Brown's Valley, 100 to 150 feet deep and about a mile 
wide, the highest point of which, on the present water divide 
between the Mississippi and Nelson basins, is 975 feet above the 
sea level. From this outlet the valley plain of the Red river 
extends 315 miles north to Lake Winnipeg, which is 710 feet 
above the sea. Along this entire distance there is a very uniform 
continuous descent of a little less than one foot per mile. 

The farmers and other residents of this fertile plain are well 


aware that they live on the area once occupied by a great lake, 
for its beaches, having the form of smoothly rounded ridges of 
gravel and sand, a few feet high, with a width of several rods, 
are observable extending horizontally long distances upon each 
of the slopes which rise east and west of the valley plain. Hun- 
dreds of farmers have located their buildings on these beach 
ridges as the most dry and sightly spots on their land, affording 
opportunity for perfectly drained cellars even in the most wet 
spring seasons, and also yielding to wells, dug through this sand 
and gravel, better water than is usually obtainable in wells on 
the adjacent clay areas. While each of these farmers in fact, 
everyone living in the Red River valley recognizes that it is an 
old lake bed, few probably know that it has become for this 
reason a district of special interest to geologists, who have traced 
and mapped its upper shore along a distance of about 800 miles. 
Numerous explorers of this region, from Long and Keating 
in 1823, to General G. K. Warren in 1868 and Professor N. H. 
Winchell in 1872, recognized the lacustrine features of this val- 
ley ; and the last-named geologist first gave what is now generally 
accepted as the true explanation of the lake's existence, namely, 
that it was produced in the closing stage of the Glacial period 
by the dam of the continental ice-sheet at the time of its final 
melting away. As the border of the ice-sheet retreated north- 
ward along the Red River valley, drainage from that area could 
not flow, as now, freely to the north through Lake Winnipeg 
and into the ocean at Hudson bay, but was turned by the ice 
barrier to the south across the lowest place on the watershed, 
which was found, as before noted, at Brown's Valley, on the west 
boundary of Minnesota. 

Detailed exploration of the shore lines and area of this lake 
was begun by the present writer for the Minnesota Geological 
Survey in the years 1879 to 1881. In subsequent years I was 
employed also in tracing the lake shores through North Dakota 
for the United States Geological Survey, and through southern 
Manitoba, to the distance of 100 miles north from the inter- 
national boundary, for the Geological Survey of Canada. For 
the last-named survey, also, Mr, J. B. Tyrrell extended the explo- 
ration of the shore lines, more or less completely, about 200 miles 


farther north, along the Riding and Duck mountains and the 
Porcupine and Pasquia, hills, west of Lakes Manitoba and Winni- 
pegosis, to the Saskatchewan river. 

This glacial lake was named by the present writer in the 
eighth annual report of the Minnesota Geological Survey, for 
the year 1879, in honor of Louis Agassiz, the first prominent 
advocate of the theory of the formation of the drift by land ice. 
Its overflowing river, whose channel is now occupied by Lakes 
Traverse and Big Stone and Brown's Valley, was also named 
by me, in a paper read before the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, at its Minneapolis meeting in 1883, as 
the River Warren, in commemoration of General Warren's ad- 
mirable work in the United States Engineering Corps, in publish- 
ing maps and reports of the Minnesota and Mississippi river 
surveys. Descriptions of Lake Agassiz and the River Warren 
were somewhat fully given in the eighth and eleventh annual 
reports of the Minnesota Geological Survey, and in the first, 
second and fourth volumes of its final report; and more complete 
descriptions and maps of the whole lake, in Minnesota, North 
Dakota and Manitoba, were published in 1895 as Monograph 
XXV of the United States Geological Survey. 

Several successive levels of Lake Agassiz are recorded by 
distinct and approximately parallel beaches of gravel and sand, 
due to the gradual lowering of the outlet by the erosion of the 
channel at Brown's Valley, and these are named principally from 
stations on the Breckenridge and Wahpeton line of the Great 
Northern railway, in their descending order, the Herman, Nor- 
cross, Tintah, Campbell, and McCauleyville beaches, because they 
pass through or near these stations and towns. The highest or 
Herman beach is traced in Minnesota from the northern end of 
Lake Traverse eastward to Herman, and thence northward, pass- 
ing a few miles east of Barnesville, through Muskoda, on the 
Northern Pacific railway, and around the west and north sides 
of Maple lake, which lies about twenty miles east-southeast of 
Crookston, beyond which it goes eastward to the south side of 
Red and Rainy lakes. In North Dakota the Herman shore lies 
about four miles west of Wheatland, on the Northern Pacific 
railway, and the same distance west of Larimore, on the Pacific 


line of the Great Northern railway. On the international boun- 
dary, in passing from North Dakota into Manitoba, this shore 
coincides with the escarpment or front of the Pembina Mountain 
plateau; and beyond passes northwest to Brandon on the Assini- 
boine, and thence northeast to the Riding mountain. 

Leveling along the upper beach shows that Lake Agassiz, in its 
earliest and highest stage, was nearly 200 feet deep above Moor- 
head and Fargo; a little more than 300 feet deep above Grand 
Forks and Crookston ; about 450 feet above Pembina, St. Vincent, 
and Emerson : and about 500 and 600 feet, respectively, above 
Lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg. The length of Lake Agassiz is 
estimated to have been nearly 700 miles, and its area not less than 
110,000 square miles, exceeding the combined areas of the five 
great lakes tributary to the St. Lawrence. 

After the ice border was so far melted back as to give outlets 
northeastward lower than the River "Warren, numerous other 
beaches marking these lower levels of the glacial lake were 
formed ; and finally, by the full departure of the ice, Lake Agassiz 
was drained away to its present representative, Lake Winnipeg. 

While the outflow passed southward, seventeen successive 
shore lines, marked by distinct beach ridges, were made by the 
gradually falling northern part of this lake ; but all these, when 
traced southward, are united into the five beaches before noted 
for the southern part of the lake. During its stages of north- 
eastern outflow, a lower series of fourteen shore lines were made. 
Thus Lake Agassiz had, in total, thirty-one successive stages of 
gradual decline in height and decrease in area. 

The earliest Herman beach has a northward ascent of about 
a foot per mile, but the lowest and latest beaches differ only 
very slightly from perfect horizontality. It is thus known that 
a moderate uplift of this area, increasing in amount from south 
to north, was in progress and was nearly or quite completed 
while the ice-sheet was melting away. Before the Glacial period, 
all the northern half of our continent had been greatly elevated, 
producing at last the cold and snowy climate and the thick ice- 
sheet ; in a late part of that period the land was depressed under 
the weight of the ice, which in consequence melted away; and 
latest, at the same time with the departure of the ice-sheet, the 


unburdened land rose a few hundred feet, the uplift having a 
gradual increase toward the central part of the country formerly 

In comparison with the immensely long and ancient geologic 
periods that had preceded, the final melting of the ice-sheet, the 
deposition of its marginal moraines and other drift formations, 
its fringing glacial lakes, and the attendant uplifting of the land, 
occupied little time and were very recent. The entire duration 
of Lake Agassiz, estimated from the amount of its wave action 
in erosion and in the accumulation of beach gravel and sand, 
appears to have been only about 1,000 years, and the time of its 
existence is thought to have been somewhere between 6,000 and 
10,000 years ago. 

Length of Time Since the Ice Age. 

In various localities we are able to measure the present rate 
of erosion of gorges below waterfalls, and the length of the post- 
glacial gorge divided by the rate of recession of the falls gives 
approximately the time since the end of the Ice Age, and since 
the geologically brief existence of this great glacial lake. Such 
measurements of the gorge and Falls of St. Anthony on the Mis- 
sissippi river at Minneapolis by Professor N. H. Winchell show 
the length of the Postglacial or Recent period to have been about 
8,000 years; and from the surveys of Niagara Falls, Professor 
G. F. Wright and the present writer believe it to have been 7,000 
years, more or less. From the rates of wave-cutting along the 
sides of Lake Michigan and the consequent accumulation of sand 
around the south end of the lake, Dr. E. Andrews estimates that 
the land there became uncovered from its ice-sheet not more 
than 7,500 years ago. Professor "Wright obtains a similar result 
from the rate of filling of kettle-holes among gravel knolls and 
ridges, and likewise from the erosion of valleys by streams tribu- 
tary to Lake Erie; and Professor B. K. Emerson, from the rate 
of deposition of modified drift in the Connecticut valley at North- 
ampton, Mass., thinks that the time since the Glacial period can- 
not exceed 10,000 years. An equally small estimate is also indi- 
cated by the studies of Gilbert and Russell for the time since the 
highest rise of the Quaternary lakes, Bonneville and Lahontan. 


lying in Utah and Nevada, within the Great Basin of interior 
drainage, which are believed to have been contemporaneous with 
the great extension of ice-sheets upon the northern part of our 

Professor James Geikie maintains that the use of paleolithic 
implements in the Stone Age had ceased, and that early man in 
Europe made neolithic (polished) implements, before the reces- 
sion of the ice-sheet from Scotland, Denmark, and the Scandi- 
navian peninsula ; and Prestwich suggests that the dawn of civili- 
zation in Egypt, China, and India may have been coeval with the 
glaciation of northwestern Europe. In Wales and Yorkshire the 
amount of denudation of limestone rocks on which boulders lie 
has been regarded as proof that a period of not more than 6,000 
years has elapsed since the boulders were left in their positions. 
The vertical extent of this denudation, averaging about six inches, 
is nearly the same with that observed in the southwest part of 
the province of Quebec by Sir William Logan and Dr. Eobert 
Bell, where veins of quartz worn by glaciation stand out to 
various heights not exceeding one foot above the weathered 
surface of the inclosing limestone. 

From this wide range of concurrent but independent testi- 
monies, we may accept it as practically demonstrated that the 
period since the ice-sheets disappeared from North America and 
Europe, and also since Lake Agassiz existed in the Red Eiver 
valley, measures some 6,000 to 10,000 years. Within this period 
are comprised the successive stages of man's development of the 
arts, from the time when his best implements were polished stone, 
through ages of bronze, iron, and finally steel, to the present time, 
when steel, steam, and electricity bring all nations into close 


E. J. Babcock, 

Dean, College of Mining Engineering, State University, 
North Dakota. 

The topography of the Red River valley cannot be fully con- 
sidered apart from that of the state as a whole, since the topog- 
raphy of the eastern part of the state blends into and forms a 
part of that of the central and western portion of the state. In 
common with most of the great prairie districts west of the 
Mississippi river, the Red River valley, and, indeed, North Dakota 
as a whole, presents no great extremes of altitude and no very 
marked feature of topography. Like a large part of the Great 
Plains, it is principally characterized by the vast expanse of 
nearly level or rolling prairies. In the main the land is well 
supplied with surface water by several river systems and numer- 
ous small lakes. The four most important rivers are the Red 
River of the North, along the eastern boundary of the state, the 
Missouri river in the western part, and the Sheyenne and James 
rivers in the central portion of the state. Nearly all the streams 
within the limits of North Dakota are sluggish, rather shallow, 
and often muddy. As might be expected from the geology, they 
lack the falls and cataracts and the sparkling character of the 
streams of a more rugged and rocky country. 

The state, however, is not without a modest variety of surface 
features, for there is not only the very level plain of the valley 
of the Red River of the North and the districts west and south- 



west, but there is much beautiful rolling prairie, especially be- 
tween the Pembina and Turtle mountains on the north and 
Sheyenne river on the south. Along the Souris and Missouri 
rivers, toward the northwest, are undulating plateaus, and in the 
southwestern portion of the state are the more extensively eroded 
surfaces, which in some localities present in miniature the wild- 
ness and picturesqueness of the Grand Canyon district of the 
Colorado. While no very marked natural divisions can be traced, 
the surface may in a general way be classified topographically as 
follows: Red River valley, Pembina and Turtle Mountain high- 
land, central rolling prairie, and the western coteau of the 

The Red River valley lies along the eastern boundary of North 
Dakota and comprises a tract from twenty-five to seventy miles 
wide, extending across the state from south to north. This whole 
area is very nearly a level plain, rising slightly on both sides 
of the stream which gives its name. The river flows somewhat 
east of the central portion of this flat bottom in a general course 
from south to north. Its channel is winding, as is common to 
streams flowing slowly through clay and other easily eroded 
material. The banks of the stream, which are mostly of fine silt 
and clay, rise rapidly on both sides to from fifteen to forty-five 
feet above the water. Most of the tributaries are small and cross 
the plain in similar channels, which frequently widen out in the 
spring into little ponds, that nearly always become dry by early 
summer. The drainage is gotten principally by these tributary 
gullies, which, though small, are of great advantage in carrying 
the spring floods and, later in the season, in furnishing good 
pasture land. 

The valley has a very uniform descent toward the north, but 
so slight as to be entirely imperceptible to the eye. The inclina- 
tion usually ranges from about six inches to two feet to the mile. 

At Wahpeton the surface is about 960 feet above the sea level ; 
near Fargo, 900 feet; near Grand Forks, about 830 feet; and at 
the international boundary, about 790 feet. Toward the west 
the ascent from the river is somewhat more rapid, averaging 
from 50 to 75 feet to the mile for the first 25 miles. Near the 
boundary line a distance of 30 miles west of the river brings one 


to the edge of the valley at the Pembina mountains, which rise 
from 300 to 350 feet above the surface. West of the river from 
25 to 50 miles the ascent becomes quite rapid as the various ridges 
of the glacial deposits are passed, until, going beyond the Red 
River valley, the central portion of the state is reached. 

The Red River valley is immediately underlain by alluvial 
clays, modified drift, sand and gravel. With this remarkably 
strong subsoil and equally remarkable deep and rich upper soil, 
there is good reason for the fertility which has characterized this 
region. A large variety of prairie grasses grow with great luxu- 
riance in this valley, but it is especially noted for its large yield 
of superior quality of wheat. There is considerable timber skirt- 
ing the banks of the Red river, but very little away from the 

Going west about thirty miles from the Red River of the 
North near the international boundary, one reaches an area rising 
abruptly from the gentle inclination of the valley to a height 
from 400 to 600 feet above the Red river. This elevated land 
stretches many miles northward into Canada, and southward 
forms a gradually descending plain far into the central part of 
the state. In its northeastern portion this elevated tract is 
known as the Pembina mountains. Toward the west the eleva- 
tion increases slightly, occasionally interrupted by low land, until 
it practically unites with the Turtle Mountain highland west of 
the Pembina mountains. Topographically, as well as geologically, 
these two elevations should be considered together. 

Along the northern part of the eastern slope of the Pembina 
mountains the elevation presents the appearance of a prominent 
wooded bluff, rising from 250 to 350 feet above the surrounding 
level, and extending in a nearly direct line toward the south. 
This ridge gradually decreases in elevation, until at its south- 
eastern extremity it is scarcely more than fifty feet above the 
country around, and then it is lost in the rolling prairie. Along 
the eastern edge of the escarpment the elevation above the sea 
ranges from about 1,100 feet in the eastern part to 1,500 feet in 
the northwestern. 

The eastern face of this escarpment is frequently scarred by 
deep transverse ravines running back from the edge of the hills 


from one to fifteen miles toward the west. Nearly all of these 
valleys are covered with small timber, and in the spring contain 
small streams, which in most cases become nearly dry in summer. 
Along the sides of these gullies are numerous springs of good 
water (usually slightly impregnated with sulphur and lime). In 
summer these springs become the main supplies which keep up 
the brooks. There are only three or four streams worthy of 
mention along the eastern slopes of the Pembina mountains. In 
the northern part the Little Pembina has cut a channel through 
the drift and clay from 50 to 350 feet in depth. This stream 
flows about ten miles east and from four to six miles north into 
the Big Pembina river near the international boundary line. For 
most of its way the stream occupies a very narrow, winding bed 
in a valley from one-quarter to one-half mile wide, and usually 
300 feet or more deep. The stream is fed for a large part of the 
year by numerous springs. The ravine through which it passes 
is well supplied with small timber (cottonwood, poplar, and oak). 
There are many charming views along this stream. 

A few miles south of the Little Pembina river is the Tongue 
river, which presents general characteristics much like the Little 
Pembina, but which flows a much shorter distance through the 
Pembina highland. Ten or twelve miles south of the Tongue river 
is the north branch of the Park river. The three branches of the 
Park flow through the descending southern portion of this eleva- 
tion and, as would be expected, have shallower and narrower 
banks and much slower currents. The banks have but few trees. 

The most important stream of this region is the Pembina river, 
which flows through the mountains near the international boun- 
dary line. This river rises far to the west, near the Turtle moun- 
tains, and flows in an easterly direction, through Manitoba and 
North Dakota, into the Red river near the town of Pembina. 
In a direct line this distance is probably 120 miles or more, but 
by the actual length of the stream it is much greater, since its 
course is quite circuitous. A large portion of its channel has 
been cut through the Turtle and Pembina Mountain highland. 
Its banks are from 50 to 350 feet high, and the valley varies in 
width from a few rods to nearly a mile. Along the deepest part 
of the valley, toward the eastern part of the Pembina mountains, 


the banks are high and rugged and well covered with small trees. 
At Walhalla the river flows out of the higher part of this eleva- 
tion, through a low ridge of drift and clay, into the Red River 
valley. From Walhalla back several miles to what is known as 
the ''Fish Trap" the river has a very rapid current. At the latter 
place there is a good water-power, and at Walhalla a small part 
of the power is utilized for milling. From its source to Walhalla 
the river falls about 700 feet, and from Walhalla to the mouth, 
about 185 feet. 

From the ravines of the streams along the eastern edge, bor- 
dering the Red river, the crest of the Pembina mountains forms 
a treeless, rolling plateau stretching away toward the west. Over 
most of this tract, between the Pembina and the Turtle moun- 
tains, a distance of about 100 miles, there is very little to note 
except that it is a high prairie. There are but few streams and 
lakes, or other marked surface features. This whole region is 
usually productive of good crops of small grain. This section is 
well supplied with a variety of excellent prairie grasses. Toward 
the western edge of this belt there is a gradual elevation ap- 
proaching the Turtle mountains, and a slight descent toward 
the south. The .southern slope shows a very gentle drainage 
system, beginning near the base of the Turtle mountains, and 
becoming more pronounced as it extends farther into the Devils 
Lake basin. In fact, this basin is the natural drainage reservoir 
for the waters of the larger part of the northern highland just 
discussed. There are no streams worthy of mention along the 
western part of this district, except those which, like the Pembina 
river, have their sources on the northern side of the Turtle moun- 
tains in Canada. While there is no river drainage to the south 
worth mentioning, there is certainly a great surface and sub- 
surface drainage toward the south. Doubtless much water slowly 
percolates through the drift and upon and in the cretaceous 
clays from this elevation toward the basin in which Devils Lake 
is situated. 

The Turtle mountains proper form a high rolling plateau 
about forty miles long by thirty miles wide, its longer axis being 
east and west. The surface rises gradually from all sides, but 
within one or two miles the elevation suddenly increases until it 


reaches a height of 300 to 400 feet above the surrounding country. 
The sides of the hills are nearly treeless, but among the hilltops 
there is a good deal of small timber. The Turtle mountains pre- 
sent a very broken outline on account of the large number of 
subordinate hills and ridges. The highest of the buttes reaches 
an elevation of perhaps 2,000 feet above the sea, or 600 feet 
above the surrounding country. The top of the mountains has a 
beautifully rolling surface covered with trees and dotted with 
lakes and ponds. Many fine farms are located here. Near the 
central part of these hills is the attractive little Lake Metigoshe. 

The Turtle mountains consist of a mass of Cretaceous and 
Laramie slates and clays which have escaped erosion and are 
covered with a thin layer of drift material. This material is, 
however, somewhat cut out on top of the plateau, and thus is 
formed a great gathering reservoir. No doubt a large amount 
of the water flowing in the brooks and from the numerous springs 
has gradually seeped through the clays and sand to the hillside, 
where it emerges as springs. The Turtle Mountains district cer- 
tainly is to a greater or less degree connected with the under- 
ground water supply of the prairies to the south. 

Looking toward the south from the heights of the Turtle 
mountains, one has spread out, 400 feet or more below him, a 
beautiful view of a gently rolling prairie region dotted with small 
farm-houses surrounded occasionally by planted groves. As far 
as the eye can reach, this undulating surface extends, gradually 
decreasing in elevation as it approaches Devils Lake. From 
points farther east, toward the Pembina mountains, a similar 
though less marked descent toward the south is noticeable. So, 
as has been said, the Devils Lake region becomes the natural 
gathering basin for this northern highland district. This basin 
has flowing into it only small streams, for the most part coulees, 
which often become dry in the summer. There are very many 
of these shallow water courses, now mostly dry, which were 
doubtless at one time very important factors in draining the 
northern district and in maintaining the supply of surface water 
in and about Devils Lake. When the land was thickly covered 
with prairie grass, the latter apparently served as a thatch, which 
prevented the water from soaking into the soil. This, of course, 


allowed more water to accumulate in the coulees, and eventually 
in the lake basin. As the land was put under the plow, more 
of the water which fell as rain percolated through the soil, and a 
smaller proportion ran away as surface water. Thus there seems 
to be good reason for the noticeable decrease in the quantity of 
water in the lakes and ponds of this region. 

Many of the coulees originate in the Turtle mountains and 
flow toward the south, but their course is generally very winding. 
They vary in size from wide sags only two or three feet deep, to 
narrow channels 50 to 100 feet wide and with banks 25 feet high. 
When water is not flowing through them, small ponds are fre- 
quently left. The wider portions usually make valuable hay and 
pasture lands. 

In the northern and northeastern part of this region the 
streams cut through a rich and rather clayey soil and a strong 
blue-clay subsoil which is largely mixed with drift material. 
Toward the west, from Cando to Eugby, and for some distance 
west and south of Eugby, the surface is somewhat more rolling, 
and the soil has a larger proportion of sand. The natural drain- 
age of this region is toward the southeast, and from Eugby there 
is a well-marked drainage to the Sheyenne and James rivers. 
This old tributary to these rivers is now usually dry. There are, 
however, a few ponds and lakes left, notable among which is the 
Girard Lake, a body of water perhaps three miles long and from 
one mile to two miles wide. 

Girard Lake and several smaller lakes, which were evidently 
at one time parts of it, show in many places, by their marked 
shore lines and deposits, a period when the water was from ten 
to thirty or forty feet higher and spread over an area several 
times as great as that now occupied. This old lake had a very 
irregular shore line ; its length was probably greatest from north- 
west to southeast. In many places now several feet above the 
water level are two or three lines of boulders and gravel, and 
occasional stumps of silicified wood. There is no doubt that this 
lake had its outlet to the Sheyenne river and upper feeders of 
the James river. That these conditions remained nearly constant 
for some time is evident from the character of the old shore 
deposits as well as from the banks of the upper Sheyenne river. 


By far the most characteristic feature of this part of the state 
is Devils Lake and surrounding country. The lake lies along 
Ramsey and Benson counties, with its length extending east and 
west. Taking the lake with its arms, some of which are nearly 
dry or separated by portions of land, but which properly belong 
to the lake, the length would be about twenty-four miles and the 
width average perhaps between four and seven miles. There was 
unquestionably a time, early in the history of the lake, when it 
occupied two or three times its present area. The old shore lines 
indicate that its water level must have been from twenty to forty 
feet above that of today. Now the water is from twenty-five to 
thirty feet deep, away from the shore, as indicated by a number 
of soundings. The southern shore of the lake, which is often 
thickly strewn with large boulders, rises rather rapidly into a 
high, rolling country whose surface is broken by numerous steep 
knobs, some of them 200 to 275 feet above the water level. The 
western part of this tract is included in the Sioux Indian reserva- 
tion. The northern, western, and eastern shores rise gradually 
from the water's edge, for several miles back from the lake. The 
old lake extended much farther north and west, as may well be 
seen by the old bays which are now dry or are only moist enough 
for good meadows. The lake is now fed by the immediate sur- 
face drainage, which is usually carried by a few coulees. A large 
part of the water which formerly drained into the lake from a 
distance has been cut off by the cultivation of the prairie land. 
As a result, the shallower parts of the lake have, within the last 
fifteen years, dried up, and the water area has thus been very 
much reduced. It does not seem probable, however, that a pro- 
portional decrease will follow within the next fifteen years. 

The central portion of the state south of Devils Lake is 
drained by the Sheyenne and James rivers. The Sheyenne rises 
about thirty miles west of Devils Lake and flows in a very wind- 
ing channel for about 900 miles toward the east ; then it takes a 
course nearly due south for about 100 miles, until, twenty miles 
or so from the southeastern limit of the state, it turns north- 
easterly into the Red River valley and empties into the Red river 
a short distance above Fargo. It will thus appear that the Devils 
Lake region has in a way its ultimate drainage into the Red River 


valley. For the greater part of its course the stream is narrow, 
its channel being cut through yellow and blue clay. Often the 
banks are strewn high up on the sides with glacial debris. They 
vary greatly in height, from a few feet near the mouth, to eighty 
or ninety feet near the upper waters. Along parts of the river 
course there are well-marked terraces, w r hich were doubtless 
formed when the stream was an outlet for the glacial lake region 
to the north. The western part of the country drained by the 
Sheyenne river is a high, rolling prairie, often from 1,300 to 1,600 
feet above the sea. The soil is very rich and, when there is a fair 
amount of rainfall, produces an abundant crop. 

Some of the small streams which form the headwaters of the 
James river are southwest of Devils Lake and within a few miles 
of the source of the Sheyenne. At this place the two rivers are 
separated by a ridge several miles wide. The country around the 
western tributaries of this river is much the same as that about 
the Sheyenne river. The two rivers doubtless joined in the work 
of draining the early glacial lakes. The James river flows for 
about 150 miles in a southeasterly direction until it crosses the 
state line into South Dakota. The general character of the stream 
and of the surrounding country is much the same as that of the 
Sheyenne river. The surface to the south is rather more level and 
of much lower altitude. The channel is cut through clay and 
drift, but the soil and subsoil have a larger proportion of sand 
than is found farther north. 

Any one who will thoroughly consider the surface appear- 
ance presented over nearly all the eastern part of North Dakota 
will be impressed with the fact that some widely operative and 
powerful agency, within a comparatively recent geologic period, 
has been shaping surface features and accumulating, mingling 
and distributing over large areas the immense amount of uncon- 
solidated foreign material which covers to a considerable thick- 
ness earlier stratified formations. 

One of the most characteristic deposits within North Dakota 
is the drift which is spread over a large, part of the state east 
of the Missouri river. This deposit is made up largely of sand 
and clay mingled with gravel and boulders, presenting a hetero- 


geneous mass totally unlike the sedimentary formations upon 
which it lies. 

The embedding material is usually thick sheets of blue and 
yellow clay, sometimes alternating with beds of sand and gravel, 
in both of which are scattered large blocks of various kinds of 
rocks, sometimes weighing several thousand pounds. These boul- 
ders are frequently smoothed and scored with fine parallel 
scratches. A knowledge of the character of these rock masses, 
and a familiarity with some of the rocks outcropping farther 
north in Canada, leads us to believe that the debris was trans- 
ported from northern regions. Much of the limestone found in 
the drift in the northern part of the state was undoubtedly taken 
from the beds which outcrop about Lake Winnipeg. A study of 
well excavations and the channels eroded by streams shows that 
this drift material has covered an old land surface. In some 
places in the Red River valley, drift and alluvial deposits reach 
to a depth of 300 to 350 feet. In the northern and western part 
of the state the thickness is commonly from 30 to 100 feet. 

The agent which accomplished this gigantic work must have 
been a great, slowly moving ice-sheet similar to that which now 
covers a large part of Greenland. This vast ice-sheet, which in its 
northern portions, at least, must have been very deep, tore away 
exposed rock ledges and enveloped and bore along with it the 
loose material with which it came in contact. This debris was 
frozen into the ice and, under the enormous weight above it, 
became a mighty grinding power, and as it moved slowly but 
irresistibly onward from the north, the enclosed rock masses 
were worn away to smaller fragments, pebbles, sand and clay, 
and all mixed with surface clay and soils. Thus was formed, 
during the long ages of the Glacial period, an enormous amount 
of this rock refuse, which, with the return of a warmer climate 
and the melting of the ice-sheet, was intermingled and spread far 
and wide. This material, by reason of its variety of composition 
and depth of deposit, is well calculated to become the foundation 
of the rich soil so characteristic of the eastern and central part of 
North Dakota. 

The drift deposit is sometimes divided into till or boulder 
clay and stratified drift. The till is naturally lower, and consists 


of a heterogeneous mass of clay, sand, pebbles, and even large 
rock masses. The larger rocks are usually more angular than 
those in the upper stratified material, and frequently show glacial 
marks. The till is probably derived from the material which was 
frozen into the lower portion of the ice-sheet and was dropped 
as the ice melted. No doubt large floating icebergs which had 
stranded and melted frequently dropped their loads of rock 
material over a partly stratified drift. In the central part of the 
state, in the Devils Lake region, the till is found commonly at a 
depth of fifteen to thirty feet, and usually continues for fifty feet 
or more. A great number of shallow wells derive their supply of 
water from this deposit. 

The stratified drift is found immediately overlying the till. 
It is composed usually of fine blue and yellow clay, which in 
many places is quite free from pebbles or boulders, and shows 
unmistakable evidence of stratification. This material forms a 
thick deposit immediately under the soil in the Red River valley, 
along valleys of several other streams in the eastern part of the 
state, and over many portions of the Devils Lake drainage basin. 
The boulders and pebbles which are found in this upper modified 
drift show clearly, by their smooth and rounded surface, that 
they have been water-worn. The stratification probably took 
place after the retreat of the ice-sheet, when the water from the 
melting ice had formed great lakes which filled the river valleys 
and lower ground and spread out over large tracts of nearly 
level land. 

The various drift deposits which have just been mentioned 
indicate that a very large area in North Dakota was at a late 
geological period covered by a great sheet of ice which stretched 
far away to the north into Canada. With a change in climatic 
conditions, the ice began to melt along its southern border, and 
the water, being banked on the north by the great ice barrier, 
gradually formed a glacial lake on the southern boundary of the 
sheet. As the glacier continued its retreat to the north, the extent 
and depth of the lake increased, the water spreading out over 
the Red River valley, and, finding no other outlet open, at last 
overflowed the height of land near Lake Traverse, making its 
way through that lake and Big Stone Lake into the Minnesota 


river, and thence into the Mississippi. Finally, however, the ice 
melted far enough toward the north to open a natural outlet 
through Lake Winnipeg and Hudson bay, when it began forming 
the present valley of the Red river. The total area covered by 
this great lake, known as Lake Agassiz, has been estimated by 
Warren Upham at 110,000 square miles, over which the water 
often reached a depth of 500 to 700 feet. The area covered in 
North Dakota was about 6,000 to 7,000 square miles. After the 
opening of the northern outlet, Lake Agassiz was rapidly drained. 
In the low land of the Winnipeg basin, however, a large body 
of water was left, a portion of which forms the present Lake 

The former presence of this body of water is recorded in three 
ways i. e., by lacustrine sediments, by extensive alluvial and 
delta deposits, and by corresponding extensive erosion. The fine 
silt and clay which are so characteristic of the Red River valley 
were undoubtedly deposited from the sediment of Lake Agassiz 
and the many glacial rivers which brought debris into this basin 
from the surrounding higher land. The water of the glacial Red 
river gradually narrowed, but being much deeper in the central 
portion of the valley, it remained there a longer time, and thus 
gave opportunity for a thicker deposit of sediment than is found 
along the old lake margin. Mr. Warren Upham has traced a 
series of beaches marking clearly the extent of Lake Agassiz at 
its various stages. The streams which flow through the lacustrine 
sediments usually have narrow and shallow banks, but the valleys 
of those streams which flow into the basin of Lake Agassiz are 
commonly deep and wide, showing much erosion. This is par- 
ticularly noticeable of the streams flowing from the Little Pem- 
bina and Pembina rivers. Along the eastern escarpment of the 
Pembina mountains the erosive action of the old lake is clearly 
seen in the almost cliff-like ascent of the Cretaceous tablelands. 

But Lake Agassiz was not the only glacial lake by which the 
surface of the level prairie of North Dakota was modified. In 
the central part of the state there were probably several lakes at 
various periods following the glacial epoch, which were formed 
from the melting of arms of the ice-sheet. One of the most impor- 
tant of these was glacial Lake Souris. Devils Lake and its imme- 


diate drainage basin is doubtless a remnant of one of these lakes. 
The Sheyenne and James rivers were probably started, and high 
bluffs along the western portion of these streams washed out, 
during the time when districts to the north, about Devils Lake, 
and to the west, being flooded by the melting ice, were drained 
of great quantities of water by these rivers. All through the 
eastern and central portion of the state, the ice-sheet, the lakes, 
and the river torrents formed by the melting ice, exerted a 
powerful influence in giving fertility to the soil and final shape 
to the surface of our North Dakota prairies. 


The admission of Minnesota in the Union in 1858 left out Pem- 
bina county, embracing the Red River valley, afterwards part 
of North Dakota, and which formerly belonged to Minnesota 
when it was a territory. Pembina had been for some years repre- 
sented in the Minnesota territorial government, and the county 
of Big Sioux, embracing the Sioux Falls region, had been organ- 
ized by the same authority. In 1849 there were in Pembina 
county 295 males and 342 females, as reported by Major Wood 
and Captain Pope, of the United States Army, who established 
the military post at Pembina at that time. In 1856 the Indian 
title to 25,000 square miles, embracing the Big Sioux country, 
having been extinguished, and that immense tract of land opened 
to settlement, there was a rush of settlers to that locality from 
1857 on to 1862, from Minnesota and Iowa, principally. 

Election Notice. 

"At a mass convention of the people of Dakota territory, 
held in the town of Sioux Falls, in the county of Big Sioux, on 
Saturday, September 18, 1858, all portions of the territory being 
represented, it was resolved and ordered that an election should 
be held for members to compose a territorial legislature. 

"Dated at , this twentieth day of September, A. D., 1858." 

In accordance with the notice the election was held for mem- 
bers of the provisional legislature and delegate to congress. A. G. 
Fuller was chosen to fill the last named office. The legislature 
thus elected met at Sioux Falls in the winter of 1858-59 and 
organized by the choice of Henry Masters as president of the 
council and ex- officio governor, and S. J. Albright as speaker of 



the house. The session lasted but a few days. Governor Masters 
died a short time after this, and is said to have been the first white 
man to die in the valley. 

In the meantime the settlers in the southern part of the coun- 
try called a convention to meet at Yankton, which assembled at 
the at that time uncompleted store of D. T. Bramble, November 8, 
1858. Mr. Bramble was chosen chairman and M. K. Armstrong 
secretary of the meeting. Captain J. B. S. Todd, Obed Foote and 
Thomas Frek were appointed a committee to draft a set of reso- 
lutions. It was determined to memorialize congress for authority 
to organize as a territory, and for this purpose a committee 
consisting of Captain J. B. S. Todd, G. D. Fiske and J. M. Stone 
was appointed to draw up the petition. The next day a similar 
meeting was held at Vermillion, of which J. A. Denton was chair- 
man and James McHenry secretary. Captain J. B. S. Todd was. 
appointed by the people in mass meeting assembled, at both 
places, to carry their petition to Washington and lay before the 
congress of the nation the wishes of the people. In response to 
their desires a bill looking to the organization of the territory of 
Dakota was introduced in the senate, but no action was taken 
upon the matter at that session. 

In the fall of 1859 another attempt was made toward terri- 
torial organization, and another legislature chosen. J. P. Kidder 
was elected delegate to congress; S. J. Albright was elected 
governor, but was returned as a member of the legislature, of 
which body he was chosen speaker of the house; "W. W. Brook- 
ings, elected president of the council, was declared ex-officio 
governor. Memorials to congress were again prepared and given 
to Mr. Kidder to lay before that body. On his arrival in Wash- 
ington, and claiming admission to that congress as a delegate, 
it was denied him, he failing of securing his seat by but a few 
votes, however. At that time politics ran high and the strife 
between the parties was intense in this country, then just on the 
eve of the most stupendous civil war in the history of nations. 
Everything in our national council was more or less subservient 
to the main question, slavery, its extension or non-extension. The 
Republican members of congress insisted upon the insertion in 
the organic act instituting the new territory of Dakota, a clause 


prohibiting the introduction of slaves, as such, into the territory. 
That aroused the southern members, whose solid opposition nulli- 
fied the wishes of the people of Dakota. 

Territorial Government Granted. 

The now thoroughly aroused settlers again made a strong 
effort to force recognition from the federal government. Decem- 
ber 27, 1860, a representative convention assembled at Yankton 
to take action in the matter. On the 15th of January, 1861, a 
lengthy and earnest appeal to the government was adopted 
by this body, to which was appended the names of 578 citizens 
of the wished-for territory. Copies were forwarded to |the 
seat of federal government at Washington and laid before both 
houses of congress. At the most stormy session of the national 
council, a bill organizing the territory of Dakota was intro- 
duced, and most of the members from the southern states 
having in the meantime withdrawn on the eve of rebellion, 
opposition to the bill ceased and it passed both houses. 
On the 2nd of March, 1861, President Buchanan signed the 
act, and the territory of Dakota at last entered upon its 
legal existence. The bill organizing the same was passed by 
the senate February 26, and the house March 1. Dakota at that 
time embraced an area of over 350,000 square miles, and included 
all of Montana, "Wyoming, and part of Idaho. These were subse- 
quently detached, the last change of boundaries being made in 
1873 in readjusting the line between Dakota and Montana. 

Territorial Officers. 

No officers were appointed by the outgoing administration, 
but in May, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln commissioned 
William Jayne, of Illinois, first governor. About the same time 
the following territorial officers were appointed: John Hutchin- 
son, of Minnesota, secretary; Philemon Bliss, of Ohio, chief jus- 
tice ; Lorenzo P. Williston, of Pennsylvania, and Joseph L. Will- 
iams, of Tennessee, associate justices ; William E. Gleason, United 
States district attorney; William T. Shaffer, of Illinois, United 
States marshal; and George D. Hill, of Michigan, surveyor- 


W. A. Burleigh was appointed agent at the Yankton Indian 
reservation, and H. W. Gregory to that of Ponca. 

Governor Jayne was a resident of Springfield, 111., at the time 
of his appointment, and was engaged in the practice of his prof es- 
-sion, medicine. He enjoyed the intimate friendship of Abraham 
Lincoln, who esteemed him highly and thus sought to honor. 

Governor Jayne and his secretary arrived at Yankton, May 27, 
1861, that having been designated as the territorial capital, and 
opened the executive office in a log cabin opposite Ash's tavern. 
The surveyor-general's office was located at first in Bramble's 
building. The first official act of the new governor was the 
.appointment of agents to take a census of the new territory 
upon which to base the apportionment for representation in the 
general assembly, and the following were named: Andrew J. 
Harlan, for the district east of the Yermillion river and south of 
Sioux Falls ; W. W. Brookings, for the Sioux Falls district ; Obed 
Foote, for the Kankton district, which extended westerly from 
the Vermillion river to Yankton ; George M. Pinney, for the Bon 
Homme district; J. D. Morse, for the country on the Missouri 
river north of the Niobrara river; and Henry D. Betts for the 
country of the Red River valley. These gentlemen made a report, 
according to one account, showing a population in what is now 
North Dakota, entire whites, 76; of mixed breeds, 514, making 
a total of 590. In what is now South Dakota the same authority 
gives as the population: Whites, 1,140; half-breeds, 46; or a 
population for the entire territory, excluding Indians, of 1,775. 
Other accounts place the whole number of people in the entire 
territory at that time at 2,879, and the commissioner of immigra- 
tion, in his report for 1887, places it for the year 1860 at 4,837, 
basing his figures upon the census report of the general govern- 
ment for the year mentioned. 

On the 13th of July, following his installation into office, the 
governor made an apportionment of the territory into three judi- 
cial districts, as follows : All that part of the territory of Dakota 
lying east of the line between ranges 53 and 54 west of the fifth 
principal meridian, should be known as the first judicial district, 
and should be presided over by Hon. L. W. Williston; all that 
part of the territory lying between the line dividing ranges 53 


and 54 and the line dividing ranges 57 and 58, was designated 
as the second district, and Hon. Philemon Bliss assigned to pre- 
side over its judicial functions. The third district was consti- 
tuted of the west part of the territory and presided over by 
Judge Joseph L. Williams. By a proclamation dated July 29, 
1861, the governor established legislative districts throughout the 
territory and apportioned the representation as follows: 

"All that portion of Dakota territory lying between the Mis- 
souri and Bix Sioux rivers, and bounded on the west by the range 
line dividing ranges 50 and 51 west and that portion of Dakota 
territory lying west of the Red River of the North, and including 
the settlement at and adjacent to Pembina and St. Joseph, shall 
comprise the first council district, and be entitled to two 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded by the Ver- 
million river on the west and on the east by the line dividing 
ranges 50 and 51, shall compose the second council district, and 
be entitled to two councilmen. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded by the Ver- 
million river on the east, on the west by the line dividing ranges 
53 and 54 west, shall compose the third council district, and be 
entitled to one councilman. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded on the east by 
the line dividing ranges 53 and 54, and on the west by the line 
dividing ranges 57 and 58 west, shall compose the fourth council 
district, and be entitled to two councilmen. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded on the east by 
Choteau creek and on the west by a line west of and including 
that settlement known as the Hamilton settlement, and also that 
portion of Dakota situated between the Missouri and Niobrara 
rivers, shall compose the sixth council district and be entitled 
to one councilman. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory situated between the 
Missouri and Big Sioux rivers and bounded on the west by the 
line dividing ranges 50 and 51 west, and bounded on the north 
by the line dividing townships 94 and 95 north, shall compose 
the first representative district, and shall be entitled to two 


''All that portion of Dakota territory lying west of the Big 
Sioux river and bounded on the south by the line dividing town- 
ships 94 and 95, and on the west by the line dividing ranges 50 
and 51, and on the north by a line drawn due east and west from 
the south end of Lake Preston, shall constitute the second repre- 
sentative district, and be entitled to one representative. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory lying on the Red River 
of the North, including the settlements at St. Joseph and Pem- 
bina, shall compose the third representative district, and be 
entitled to one representative. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded by the Ver- 
million river on the west, and on the east by the line dividing 
ranges 50 and 51, shall compose the fourth representative district, 
and be entitled to two representatives. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded by the Ver- 
million river on the east and on the west by the line dividing 
ranges 53 and 54, shall compose the fifth representative district, 
and be entitled to two representatives. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded on the east by 
the line dividing ranges 53 and 54, and on the west by the line 
dividing ranges 57 and 58, shall compose the sixth representative 
district, and be entitled to two representatives. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded on the east 
by the line dividing ranges 57 and 58 west, on the west by 
Choteau creek, shall compose the seventh representative district, 
and be entitled to two representatives. 

"All that portion of Dakota territory bounded on the east by 
Choteau creek, and on the west by a line drawn west of and to 
include the settlement known as the Hamilton settlement; and, 
also, that portion of Dakota territory situated between the Mis- 
souri and the Niobrara rivers, shall compose the eighth repre- 
sentative district and be entitled to one representative." 

In the same proclamation the new executive appointed the 
following polling places for the use of the citizens in the various 
parts of the territory. To quote his own words : 

"I do hereby establish in the aforesaid districts the following 
places for voting: 

"In the first representative district, at the dwelling house of 


Thomas Maloney, and do appoint as judges of election thereat 
William Matthews, James Somers and Thomas Maloney; and 
also at the hotel of Eli Wilson, in Elk Point, and do appoint as 
judges thereat Sherman Clyde, William Frisbie and K. P. Ronne. 
In the second representative district, at the house of William 
Amidon, and do appoint as judges G. P. Waldron, Barney Fowler 
and John Kelts. In the third representative district at the house 
of Charles Le May, in the town of Pembina, and do appoint as 
judges Charles Le May, James McFetridge and H. Donelson; 
and also at the house of Baptiste Shorette, in the town of St. 
Joseph, and do appoint as judges Baptiste Shorette, Charles 
Bottineau and Antoine Zangreau. 

"In the fourth representative district, at the house of James 
McHenry, and do appoint as judges A. J. Harlan, Ole Anderson 
and A. Eckles. In the fifth representative district, at the house 
of Bly Wood, and do appoint as judges Ole Olson, Bly Wood and 
Ole Bottolfson. In the sixth representative district, at the office 
of Todd & Frost, and do appoint as judges M. K. Armstrong, F. 
Chapel and J. S. Presho. In the seventh representative district, 
at Herrick's hotel, in Bon Homme, and do appoint as judges 
Daniel Gifford, George M. Pinney and George Falkenburg. And 
in the eighth district, at the house of F. D. Pease, and do appoint 
as judges J. V. Hamilton, Benjamin Estes and Joseph Ellis, and 
also at Gregory's store, and appoint as judges Charles Young, 
James Tufts and Thomas Small." 

About this time the various candidates for the position of 
delegate to congress began to come forward and make efforts to 
capture that office. 

Prominent among the settlers at that time was Captain John 
B. S. Todd, an ex-army officer and a relative of Mrs. Lincoln's, 
a man who was a leader in the movement toward organization, 
and filled a foremost place in the opinions of his friends and 
neighbors ; he was the leading candidate. The opposition to him 
crystallized and settled upon A. J. Bell as their choice. Later 
Charles P. Booge, then in business at Sioux City, but who claimed 
a residence within the territory, announced himself as a candidate 
for the same office. 

The election, which was held Monday, September 16, 1361, 


resulted in the election of Mr. Todd, who. received 397 votes. A. 
J. Bell received 78 votes and Charles P. Booge 110. 

The first territorial legislature, which was chosen at this 
election, met at Yankton, March 17, 1862, and continued in ses- 
sion until May 15, following. The membership was as follows : 

Council John H. Shober, H. D. Betts, el. W. Boyle, D. T. 
Bramble, W. W. Brookings, A. Cole, Jacob Deuel, J. S. Gregory 
and Enos Stutsman. 

House George M. Pinney, Moses K. Armstrong, Lyman Bur- 
gess, J. A. Jacobson, John C. McBride, Christopher Maloney, A. 
W. Puett, John Stanage, John L. Tiernan, Hugh S. Donaldson, 
Reuben Wallace, George P. Waldron and B. E. "Wood. 

On their organization the council chose the following officers : 
J. H. Shober, president; James Tufts, secretary; E. M. Bond, 
assistant secretary; W. R. Goodfellow, engrossing and enrolling 
clerk; S. W. Ingham, chaplain; Charles F. Picotte, sergeant-at- 
arms; E. B. Wixon, messenger, and W. "W. Warford, fireman. 
The house, on organization, selected as their officers : George M. 
Pinney, speaker ; J. R. Hanson, chief clerk ; J. M. Allen, assistant 
clerk ; D. Gifford, enrolling clerk ; B. M. Smith, engrossing clerk ; 
M. D. Metcalf, chaplain; James or M. H. Somers, sergeant-at- 
arms; A. B. Smith, messenger; and Ole Anderson, fireman. 

The second general election was held September 1, 1862, and 
in some parts of the territory considerable excitement prevailed. 
The board of canvassers gave the rival candidates for the posi- 
tion of delegate to congress, William Jayne and J. B. S. Todd, 
237 and 221 votes respectively, they for some reason throwing 
out the vote of Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties. The Red 
river valley apparently made no returns of this election. Gov- 
ernor Jayne was declared elected to congress, but a contest for 
the seat was instituted by Captain Todd before congress, and 
the latter, proving his case, was given the place. 

Captain Todd served in the capacity of delegate to the 
national house of representatives during the years 1861 and 
1863. He was succeeded by W. F. Burleigh, whose term of 
service was from 1864 to 1869 ; S. L. Spink, 1869-71 ; Moses K. 
Armstrong, 1871-75; J. P. Kidder, 1875-79; G. G. Bennett, 
1879-81; R. F. Pettigrew, 1881-83: J. B. Raymond, 1883-85; 


Oscar S. Gifford, 1885-88; and George A. Matthews, 1888-89, 
successively filled this high office. 

Dr. William Jayne, the first governor of Dakota territory, 
occupied the position of first magistrate for two years, being 
succeeded in 1863 by Newton Edmunds. In 1866 Andrew J. 
Faulk was appointed governor, and remained in that office until 
1869, when he gave way for John A. Burbank. The latter 's term 
of service was from 1869 to 1874. John L. Pennington, the next 
incumbent, served until 1878. His successor, William A. Howard, 
was appointed and qualified for the office. Governor Howard 
died April 10, 1880, while still in the gubernatorial chair, and 
Nehemiah G. Ordway, of New Hampshire, was appointed to fill 
the vacancy. The latter 's term of service expired in 1884. Gil- 
bert A. Pierce, the next appointee, filled the position from 1884 
till 1887, when he, in turn, made way for his successor, Louis 
K. Church. In 1889 Arthur C. Mellette became governor of the 
territory by appointment, and was the first governor of the state 
of South Dakota by election. 

Of the secretaries of the territory of Dakota the first one 
appointed was John L. Hutehinson, who continued in office from 
1861 until 1865 ; he was succeeded by S. L. Spink. The latter 
held the position until 1869. During the latter year Turney M. 
Wilkins was appointed and held the office until the following 
year, when George A. Batchelder was appointed to the place. 
Edwin S. McCook was appointed in 1872. He was assassinated 
by Peter P. Wintermute in September, 1873. The next to fill 
the position was Oscar Whitney, who held the same from the 
date of his predecessor's death until the appointment of his suc- 
cessor, George H. Hand, in 1874. The latter remained in office 
until 1883, when he was succeeded by J. M. Teller. In 1886 
Michael McCormack was appointed Mr. Teller's successor, and 
was succeeded, in 1889, by L. B. Richardson, who was the last 
to be appointed to that office. 

Presidential appointees who filled the important office of chief 
justice during territorial days were : Philemon Bliss, 1861-64 ; 
Ara Bartlett, 1865-69; George W. French, 1869-73; Peter C. 
Shannon, 1873-81 ; A. J. Edgerton, 1881-85, and Bartlett Tripp, 


Of those who acted as associate justices while the territory 
was in existence, the following is a list, with the date of their 
services. Many of them will be recognized as prominent mem- 
bers of the Dakota bar before and after their terms upon the 
bench, and others occupied more exalted positions. They were: 
S. P. Williston, 1861-65; J. S. Williams, 1861-64; Ara Bartlett, 
1864-65 ; W. E. Gleason, 1865-66 ; J. P. Kidder, 1865-75 ; J. W. 
Boyle, 1864-69 ; W. W. Brookings, 1869-73 ; A. H. Barnes, 1873-81 ; 
G. G. Bennett, 1875-79; G. C. Moody, 1878-83; J. P. Kidder, 
1878-83; C. S. Palmer, 1883-87; S. A. Hudson, 1881-85; William 
E. Church, 1883-86; Louis K. Church, 1885-87; Seward Smith, 
1884; W. H. Francis, 1884-88 ; John E. Garland, 1887-89 ; William 
B. McConnell, 1885-88; Charles M. Thomas, 1886-89; James 
Spencer, 1887-89 ; Roderick Rose, 1888-89 ; L. W. Crofoot, 1888-89 ; 
Frank R. Aikens, 1889. Of these Judge J. P. Kidder died while 
in office in 1883, and was succeeded by C. S. Palmer, of Vermont. 

Of those who filled the important position of United States 
district attorney during the twenty-eight years of Dakota's ter- 
ritorial government the following is the roll, together with the 
years of their services : William E. Gleason, 1861-64 ; George H. 
Hand, 1866-69 ; Warren Coles, 1869-73 ; William Pond, 1873-77 ; 
Hugh J. Campbell, 1877-85 ; John E. Carland, 1885-88 ; William 
E. Purcell, 1888-89, and John Murphy, 1889. William Pond died 
while in office in 1877. 

During the same time the office of United States marshal was 
filled by the following parties : William F. Shaffer, 1861 ; G. M. 
Pinney, 1861-65; L. W. Litchfield, 1865-72; J. H. Burdick, 
1872-77 ; J. B. Raymond, 1877-81 ; Harrison Allen, 1881-85, and 
Daniel Maratta, 1885-89. 

The office of commissioner of railroads of the territory was 
held successively by the following named: William M. Evens, 
chairman ; Alexander Griggs and W. H. McVay, in 1886 ; Alex- 
ander Griggs, chairman, A. Boynton and N. T. Smith, in 1887; 
Judson LaMoure, chairman, John H. King and Harvey J. Rice. 
The latter were the last board prior to the admission of Dakota 
to a place in the federal union as a state. 

The surveyor- generals during the same time were: George 
D. Hill, 1861-65; William Tripp, 1865-69; W. H. H. Beadle, 


1869-73 ; William P. Dewey, 1873-77 ; Henry Experson, 1877-81 ; 
Cortez Fessenden, 1881-85; Maris Taylor, 1885-89, and B. H. 
Sullivan, 1889. 

The second legislature met at Yankton, December 1, 1862, 
and continued in service until January 9, 1863. Its membership 
was as follows: 

Council Enos Stutsman, president ; W. W. Brookings, Austin 
Cole, John W. Boyle, Jacob Deuel, D. T. Bramble, J. McFetridge, 
John H. Shober, J. Shaw Gregory and H. D. Betts. 

House A. J. Harlan, the speaker, who resigned December 
16, and was succeeded by Moses K. Armstrong; L. Bothun, J. Y. 
Buckman, H. S. Donaldson, M. H. Somers, Edward Gifford, J. A. 
Jacobson, R. M. Johnson, G. P. Waldron, Knud Larson, F. D. 
Pease, A. W. Puett and N. J. Wallace. 

The third session of the territorial legislature was convened 
at the capital, December 7, 1863, and continued to transact public 
business until January 15, 1864. Its membership was made up 
of the following named : 

Council Enos Stutsman, president; J. M. Stone, G. W. 
Kingsbury, J. 0. Taylor, M. M. Rich, John Mathers, Lasse Bothun, 
Hugh Compton, Franklin Taylor, D. P. Bradford, J. Shaw Greg- 
ory and John J. Thompson. 

House A. W. Puett, speaker; L. Burgess, Ole Bottolfson, 
E. M. Bond, William Shriner, 0. L. Pratt, John Lawrence, Henry 
Brooks, L. A. Litchfield, W. W. Brookings, Knud Larson, Wash- 
ington Reid, P. H. Risling, E. W. Wall, Jesse Wherry, Peter 
Keegan, N. G. Curtis, Asa Mattison, B. A. Hill, Duncan Ross and 
Albert Gore. 

The fourth legislature commenced its existence at Yankton, 
December 5, 1864, and remained in session until January 13, 
1865. The following named were borne on its roll of membership : 

Council Enos Stutsman, president ; J. M. Stone, G. W. Kings- 
bury, J. 0. Taylor, M. M. Rich, John Mathers, Lasse Bothun, Hugh 
Compton, Franklin Taylor, D. P. Bradford, J. Shaw Gregory and 
John J. Thompson. 

House W. W. Brookings, speaker; L. Burgess, L P. Burg- 
man, A. Christy, B. W. Collar, Felicia Fallis, J. R. Hanson, Peter 
Keegan, George W. Kellogg, P. Lemonges, John Lawrence, M. 


M. Mattheinsen, Helge Matthews, Francis McCarthy, John W. 
Owens, G. W. Pratt, "Washington Reid, John Rouse, William 
Shriner, George Stickney, John W. Turney and E. W. Wall. 

The fifth session of the Dakota territorial legislature convened 
at Yankton December 4, 1865, and adjourned the 12th of the 
following month. It had as members : 

Council George Stickney, president ; M. K. Armstrong, Aus- 
tin Cole, G. W. Kingsbury, Charles LaBreeche, Nathaniel Ross, 
Enos Stutsman, 0. F. Stevens, John J. Thompson, John W. Tur- 
ner, A. L. Van Osdel and Knud Weeks. 

House G. B. Bigelow, speaker; T. C. Watson, E. C. Collins, 
William Walter, Michael Curry, Michael Ryan, James Whitehorn, 
H. J. Austin, Amos Hampton, Frank Taylor, James McHenry, 
Joseph Ellis, A. M. English, Jacob Brauch, H. C. Ash, S. C. Fargo, 
W. W. Brookings, Jonathan Brown, J. A. Lewis, Charles H. Mc- 
Carthy, William Stevens, Edward Lent, George W. Kellogg and 
Charles Cooper. 

The sixth session convened December 4, 1866, and adjourned 
January 12, 1867. Its membership was as follows : 

Council Moses K. Armstrong, president; Austin Cole, A. G. 
Fuller, G. W. Kingsbury, Charles LaBreeche, J. A. Lewis, D. M. 
Mills, Nathaniel Ross, 0. F. Stevens, John J. Thompson, John W. 
Turner, A. L. Van Osdel and Knud Weeks. 

House J. B. S. Todd, speaker; H. C. Ash, Horace J. Austin, 
D. T. Bramble, W. N. Collamer, Michael Curry, Hugh Fraley, 
Thomas Frick, I. T. Gore, William Gray, Hans Gunderson, M. U. 
Hoyt, Daniel Hodgden, Amon Hanson, R. M. Johnson, George 
W. Kellogg, Vincent LaBelle, Charles H. McCarthy, N. C. Stevens, 
William Stevens, John Trumbo, Franklin Taylor, Eli B. Wixon 
and Kirwin Wilson. 

The seventh legislature was convened December 2, 1867, and 
adjourned January 10, 1868. The following were the members: 

Council Horace J. Austin, president; W. W. Brookings, W. 
W. Benedict, Aaron Carpenter, R. J. Thomas, Hugh Fraley, R. R. 
Green, A. H. Hampton, George W. Kellogg, J. A. Lewis, Charles 
H. Mclntyre, D. M. Mills and C. F. Rossteucher. 

House Enos Stutsman, speaker; William Blair, William 
Brady, F. Bronson, Jacob Brauch, Jonathan Brown, Caleb Cum- 


mings, Michael Cimy, F. J. DeWitt, Martin V. Farris, Felicia 
Fallas, I. T. Gore, Hans Gunderson, Amos Hanson, M. U. Hoyt, 
John L. Jolley, James Keegan, G. C. Moody, T. Nelson, Michael 
Ryan, Calvin G. Shaw, John J. Thompson, J. D. Tucker and 
Thomas C. Watson. 

The eighth legislature met in session at Yankton, December 
7, 1868, and adjourned January 15 following. The roll of mem- 
bership was as follows : 

Council N. J. Wallace, president; Horace J. Austin, W. W. 
Benedict, W. W. Brookings, Aaron Carpenter, Hugh Fraley, R. 
R. Green, A; H. Hampton, George W. Kellogg, J. A. Lewis, 
Charles H. Mclntyre, C. P. Rossteuscher and B. E. Wood. 

House G. C. Moody, speaker; Alfred Abbott, C. D. Bradley 
G. G. Bennett, Calvin M. Brooks, Jacob Brauch, John Clementson,, 
N. G. Curtis, J. M. Eves, J. Shaw Gregory, J. T. Hewlett, 0. T. 
Hagin, John L. Jolley, A. W. Jameson, Hiram Keith, James Kee- 
gan, Lewis Larson, Knud Larson, J. LaRoche, Joseph Moulin, 
Charles Ricker, Enos Stutsman, M. H. Somers and R. T. Vinson. 

The ninth session of the territorial legislature was convened 
at Yankton, December 5, 1870. It continued until January 13, 
1871. Its members were : 

Council Emory Morris, president; M. K. Armstrong, Joseph 
Brauch, W. W. Cuppett, Hugh Fraley, Silas W. Kidder, Nelson 
Miner, Charles H. Mclntyre, J. C. Kennedy, W. T. McKay, James 
M. Stone and John W. Turner. 

House George H. Hand, speaker; Charles Allen, V. R. L. 
Barnes, F. J. Cross, C. P. Dow, A. P. Hammond, John Hancock, 
William Holbrough, 0. B. Iverson, H. A. Jerauld, James Keegan, 
J. LaRoche, Nelson Learned, A. J. Mills, E. Miner, Noah Wherry, 
R. Mostow, S. L. Parker, Amos F. Shaw, Philip Sherman, John 
C. Sinclair, Ole Sampson and E. W. Wall. 

The tenth legislature of the territory convened in regular ses- 
sion at Yankton, December 2, 1872, and adjourned January 10, 
1873. The following named constituted the membership : 

Council Alexander Hughes, president; D. T. Bramble, E. B. 
Crew, H. P. Cooley, J. Flick, John Lawrence, Nelson Miner, 
Joseph Mason, J. Gehon, Charles II. Mclntyre, 0. F. Stevens^ 
Enos Stutsman and Henry Smith. 


House A. J. Mills, speaker ; Samuel Ashmore, Ole Bottolf son, 
John Becker, Jacob Brauch, Newton Clark, N. B. Campbell, 
Michael Glynn, William Hamilton, James Hyde, Cyrus Knapp, 
T. A. Kingsbury, Judson La Moure, E. A. Williams, Ephraim 
Miner, George Norbeck, Joseph Roberts, A. B. Wheelock, 0. C. 
Peterson, Jens Peterson, Silas Rohr, Martin Trygstadt, J. W. 
Turner, John Thompson, B. E. Wood and W. P. Lyman. 

The eleventh legislature convened at Yankton, December 7, 
1874, and remained in session until January 15, 1875, when it 
adjourned. The members were : 

Council John L. Jolley, president; A. J. Austin, Jacob 
Brauch, Philip Chandler, Benton Fraley, W. G. Harlan, John 
Lawrence, A. McHench, M. Pace, N. W. Sheafe, 0. F. Stevens, 
Clark S. West and E. A. Williams. 

House G. C. Moody, speaker; H. 0. Anderson, George Bos- 
worth, Hector Bruce, J. L. Berry, L. Bothun, Michael Curry, 
Desire Chausse, J. M. Cleland, Patrick Hand, John H. Haas, Knud 
Larson, Joseph Zitka, H. N. Luce, W. T. McKay, Henry Reifsny- 
der, Amos F. Shaw, C. H. Stearns, Ira Ellis, L. Sampson, S. 
Sevenson, A. L. Van Osdel, M. M. Williams, Scott Wright, James 
M. Wohl and 0. B. Larson. 

January 9, 1877, at Yankton, the twelfth legislature of the 
territory met in session and continued to transact the public 
business until February 17, following. As the country was rap- 
idly filling up the number of members increased and the amount 
of business became of larger volume. This general assembly 
was composed of the following named gentlemen : 

Council W. A. Burleigh, president; Henry S. Back, M. W. 
Bailey, William Duncan, Hans Gunderson, Judson LaMoure, Nel- 
son Miner, A. J. Mills, Robert Wilson, R. F. Pettigrew, J. A. 
Potter, C. B. Valentine and J. A. Wallace. 

House D. C. Hagle, speaker ; J. M. Adams, A. L. Boe, H. A. 
Burke, J. Q. Burbank (who was awarded the seat held by D. M. 
Kelleher, during the session), W. H. H. Beadle, T. S. Clarkson, 
G. S. S. Codington, W. F. Durham, A. G. Hopkins, M. 0. Hexom, 
E. Hackett, D. M. Inman, Erick Iverson, Charles Maywold, F. M. 
Ziebach, Hans Myron, John Shellberg, John Falde, D, Stewart, 


Asa Sargent, John Tucker, Franklin Taylor, John Thompson, C. 
H. Van Tassel and S. Soderstrom. 

The thirteenth legislature held its session at Yankton, from 
January 14, 1879, until February following. The roll of mem- 
bers was as follows : 

Council George II. Walsh, president; "William M. Cuppert, 
M. H. Day, Ira Ellis, Newton Edmunds, W. L. Kuykendall, Nel- 
son Miner, Robert Macnider, R. F. Pettigrew, S. G. Roberts, Silas 
Rohr, C. B. Valentine and H. B. Wynn. 

House John R. Jackson, speaker; Alfred Brown, J. Q. Bur- 
bank, P. N. Cross, D. W. Flick, A. B. Tockler, John R. Gamble, 
Ansley Gray, Hans Gunderson, P. J. Hoyer, Ole A. Helvig, 0. I. 
Hoseboe, A. Hoyt, S. A. Johnson, John Langness, A. Manksch, J. 
M. Peterson, Nathaniel Whitfield, Michael Shely, A. Simonson, 
James H. Stephens, D. Stewart, Martin M. Trygstadt, E. C. Wal- 
ton, J. F. Webber and Canute Weeks. 

The fourteenth legislature held its session from January 11 
to March, 1881, at Yankton, with the following list of members : 

Council George H. Walsh, president; M. H. Day, Ira W. 
Fisher, John R. Gamble, John L. Jolley, J. A. J. Martin, J. O'B. 
Scobey, Amos F. Shaw, J. F. Wallace, John Walsh, G. W. Wiggin 
and John R. Wilson. 

House J. A. Harding, speaker; James Baynes, F. J. Cross, 
G. H. Dickey, L. B. French, C. B. Kennedy, P. Landman, J. H. 
Miller, Knud Nomland, V. P. Thielman, A. Thorne, P. Warner, 
S. A. Boyles, W. H. Donaldson, E. Ellefson, John D. Hale, D. M. 
Inman, Judson LaMoure, S. McBratney, I. Moore, S. Rohr, D. 
Thompson, A. L. Van Osdel and E. P. Wells. 

On the organization of Dakota as a territory in 1861, Yankton 
was designated as the territorial capital and the seat of the 
executive and legislative branches of the government. There 
the legislature had up to this time held their sessions, but the 
fifteenth general assembly which met at Yankton, January 9, 
1883, and remained convened until March 9, following, was the 
last to do so. The members of this general assembly were the 
following : 

Council J. O'B. Scobey, president; F. N. Burdick, J. R. Jack- 
son, F. M. Ziebach, F. J. Washabaugh, S. G. Roberts, H. J. 


Jerauld, William P. Dewey, E. H. Mclntosh, G. H. Walsh, J. 
Nickeus and E. McCauley. 

House E. A. Williams, speaker; Ira Ellis, M. C. Tychsen, 
John Thompson, W. B. Robinson, R, C. McAllister, F. P. Phillips, 
G. W. Sterling, W. A. Reinhart, E. M. Bowman, G. P. Harvey, 
D. M. Inman, H. VanWoert, J. B. Wynn, B. R. Wagner, John 
C. Pyatt, George Rice, W. H. Lamb, J. W. Nowlin, A. A. Choteau, 
0. M. Towner, B. W. Benson, L. J. Allred and N. E. Nelson. This 
legislature had before them a bill authorizing the changing the 
seat of government of the territory to some more central and 
convenient point. This bill was passed by which was created a 
commission for the purpose of selecting and locating the new cap- 
ital. This committee was composed of the following named gen- 
tlemen: Alexander McKenzie, Milo W. Scott, Burleigh F. 
Spaulding, Charles H. Myers, George A. Matthews, Alexander 
Hughes, Henry M. DeLong, John P. Belding and M. D. Thompson. 

The commission was convened in a session at the city of Fargo 
during the summer of 1883, to hear the different advantages of 
site as put forth by the various claimants for the capitalship. 
Excitement was rife, but after a long and patient hearing the 
board reached a conclusion, and June 2, 1883, located the future 
territorial capital at the, then, rising city of Bismarck. 

According to the act of the legislature passed at the last ses- 
sion, as above narrated, and the action of the committee then 
appointed, the sixteenth assembly was convened at Bismarck, 
January 13, 1885, and continued in session in that city until 
March 13 following. A list of its members is as follows : 

Council J. H. Westover, president; A. C. Huetson, William 
Duncan, John R. Gamble, A. S. Jones, B. R. Wagner, A. M. 
Bowdle, R, F. Pettigrew, George R. Farmer, H. H. Natwick, C. 
H. Cameron, J. P. Day, A. B. Smedley, V. P. Kennedy, F. J. 
Washabaugh, S. P. Wells, Charles Richardson, J. Nickeus, C. D. 
Austin, D. H. Twomey, G. H. Walsh, John Flittie, Judson La- 
Moure and P. J. McLaughlin. 

House George Rice, speaker; Ole Helvig, John Larson, Eli 
Dawson, Hans Myron, A. L. Van Osdel, Hugh Langan, J. P. 
Ward, J. H. Swanton, A. J. Parshall, Mark Ward, C. E. Huston, 
H. M. Clark, P. L. Runkel, J. M. Bayard, H. W. Smith, W. H. 


Biddell, John Hobart, J. C. Southwick, V. V. Barnes, J. A. 
Pickler, J. T. Blakemore, G. W. Pierce, M. L. Miller, G. H. John- 
son, M. T. DeWoody, E. Huntington, F. A. Eldredge, A. L. 
Sprague, E. W. Martin, H. M. Gregg, A. McCall, E. A. Williams, 
W. F. Steele, Henry W. Coe, J. Stevens, S. E. Stebbins, P. J. 
McCumber, H. S. Oliver, T. M. Pugh, E. T. Hutchinson, W. N. 
Roach, C. W. Morgan, J. W. Scott, D. Stewart, H. Stong, H. H. 
Ruger, P. McHugh. 

The seventeenth legislature, composed of the following named, 
was in session from January 11 until March 11, 1887 : 

Council George A. Mathews, president ; Roger Allin, William 
T. Collins, John Cain, W. E. Dodge, E. W. Foster, Melvin Grigsby, 
Alexander Hughes, T. M. Martin, P. J. McCumber, C. H. Sheldon, 
E. G. Smith, J. S. Weiser, T. O. Bogart, A. W. Campbell, P. C. 
Donovan, E. C. Erickson, H. Galloway, G. A. Harstad, J. D. 
Lawler, C. D. Mead, E. T. Sheldon, F. J. Washabaugh and S. P. 

House George G. Crose, speaker ; Fred H. Adams, John Bid- 
lake, J. W. Burnham, D. S. Dodds, Thomas M. Elliott, D. W. 
Ensign, J. H. Fletcher, F. Greene, A. A. Harkins, C. B. Hubbard, 
J. G. Jones, James M. Moore, T. F. Mentzer, C. I. Miltimore, 
John D. Patton, D. F. Royer, J. Schnaidt, F. M. Shook, D. 
Stewart, E. W. Terrill, J. V. White, Wilson Wise, L. 0. Wyman, 
Frank R. Aikens, W. N. Berry, A. M. Cook, M. H. Cooper, John 
R, Dutch, John A. Ely, William H. Fellows, J. T. Gilbert, William 
Glendenning, W. J. Hawk, John Hobart, R. McDonell, F. A. 
Morris, H. J. Mallorey, J. H. Patton, A. J. Pruitt, W. R. Ruggles, 
D. W. Sprague, A. S. Steward, B. H. Sullivan, C. B. Williams, 
James P. Ward, E. A. Williams and John Woltzmuth. 

The eighteenth and last territorial legislature was convened 
at the capital, Bismarck, January 8, 1889, and remained in ses- 
sion until March 9. It enacted one hundred and twenty general 
laws, including thirty-four amendments and two repeals. Also 
nineteen joint resolutions and memorials. The membership rolls 
bore the following names : 

Council Smith Stimmel, president ; R. Allin, Irenus Atkinson, 
Peter Cameron, A. W. Campbell, M. H. Cooper, C. I. Crawford, 
Robert Dollard, E. C. Erickson, S. L. Glaspell, James Halley, G. 


A. Harstad, Alexander Hughes, Eobert Lowry, Hugh McDonald, 
John Miller, J. H. Patten, David W. Poindexter, Joseph C. Eyan, 
C. A. Soderberg, G. H. Walsh, F. J. Washabaugh, James A. 
Woolheiser and A. L. Van Osdel. 

House Hosmer H. Keith, speaker; F. H. Adams, Frank E. 
Aikens, Joseph Allen, C. H. Baldwin, E. L. Bennett, E. H. Berg- 
man, B. F. Bixter, J. W. Burnham, A. D. Clark, J. B. Cook, T. A. 
Douglas, Thomas Elliott, J. H. Fletcher, J. M. Greene, A. J. 
Gronna, S. P. Howell, Harry F. Hunter, J. G. Jones, I. S. Lamp- 
man, W. S. Logan, Frank Lillibridge, H. J. Mallory, P. McHugh, 
Edwin McNeil, C. J. Miller, F. A. Morris, C. C. Newman, P. P. 
Palmer, A. L. Patridge, H. S. Parkin, John D. Patten, 0. C. 
Potter, D. M. Powell, M. M. Price, William Eamsdell, D. F. 
Eoyer, G. W. Eyan, H. H. Sheets, J. 0. Smith, W. E. Swanston, 
C. J. Tfude, John Turnbull, N. Upham, 0. E. Van Etten, J. B. 
Wellcome, D. E. Wellman, J. V. White. 

North Dakota as a State. 

The first legislature to meet at Bismarck, the capital of the 
territory of Dakota, was in 1885, from January 13 to March 13. 
The last legislature of the territory assembled January 8, 1889, 
and adjourned on the 9th of March, 1889. ''An act to provide 
for the division of Dakota into two states and to enable the people 
of North and South Dakota, Montana and Washington to form 
constitutions and state governments and to be admitted into 
the Union on an equal footing with the original states," came in 
under the omnibus bill of February 22, 1889, which embodies the 
several measures introduced for the admission of the northwest 
territories. Constitutional conventions were accordingly held at 
Sioux Falls and Bismarck, assembling July 4, 1887. The officials 
for North Dakota were as follows : 

President, F. B. Fancher, Jamestown; chief clerk, John G. 
Hamilton, Grand Forks; enrolling and engrossing clerk, C. C. 
Bowsfield, Ellendale. 

The roll of membership of this constitutional convention was 
the following, together with the county they represented: 

Eoger Allin, of Walsh ; John Magnus Almen, of Walsh ; 
Albert Francis Appleton, of Pembina; Therow W. Bean, of Nel- 



son; James Bell, of Walsh; Richard Bennett, of Grand Forks; 
Lorenzo D. Bartlett, of Dickey ; David Bartlett, of Griggs ; Wil- 
liam D. Best, of Pembina ; Charles V. Brown, of Wells ; Andrew 
Blewett, of Stutsman; William Budge, of Grand Forks; Edgar 
W. Camp, of Stutsman; Eben Whitney Chaffee, of Cass; John 
Emmett Garland, of Burleigh; Charles Carothers, of Grand 
Forks; Horace M. Clark, of Eddy; William J. Clapp, of Cass; 
Joseph L. Colton, of Ward ; James A. Douglas, of Walsh ; Elmer 
E. Elliott, of Barnes ; Frederick B. Fancher, of Stutsman ; George 
H. Fay, of Mclntosh; Alexander D. Flemington, of Dickey; 
James Bennett Gayton, of Emmons; Benjamin Bush Glick, of 
Cavalier ; Enos Gray, of Cass ; Alexander Griggs, of Grand Forks ; 
Harvey Harris, of Burleigh; Arne P. Haugen, of Grand Forks; 
Marthinus F. Hegge, of Traill; Herbert L. Holmes, of Pembina; 
Albert W. Hoyt, of Morton; Martin N. Johnson, of Nelson; 
William S. Lauder, of Richland ; Addison Leech, of Cass ; Martin 
V. Linwell, of Grand Forks; Jacob Lowell, of Cass; Edward H. 
Lohnes, of Ramsey; Michael K. Marriman, of Walsh; J. H. 
Mathews, of Grand Forks; Olney G. Meecham, of Foster; John 
McBride, of Cavalier; Henry Foster Miller, of Cass; Samuel H. 
Moer, of La Moure; James D. McKenzie, of Sargent; Patrick 
McHuh, of Cavalier; Virgil B. Noble, of Bottineau; Knud J. 
Nomland, of Traill; James F. O'Brien, of Ramsey; Curtis P. 
Parsons, of Rolette ; Albert Samuel Parsons, of Morton ; Engebret 
M. Paulson, of Traill; Henry M. Peterson, of Cass; Robert M. 
Pollock, of Cass; John Powers, of Sargent; Joseph Powles, of 
Cavalier; William E. Purcell, of Richland; William Ray, of 
Stark; Robert B. Richardson, of Pembina; Alexander D. Rob- 
ertson, of Walsh; Eugene Strong Rolfe, of Benson; William H. 
Rowe, of Dickey; Andrew Sandager, of Ransom; John Shuman, 
of Sargent ; John W. Scott, of Barnes ; John F. Selby, of Traill ; 
Andrew Sloten, of Richland ; Burleigh Folsom Spalding, of Cass ; 
Reuben N. Stevens, of Ransom; Ezra Turner, of Bottineau; 
Elmer D. Wallace, of Steele; Abram Olin Whipple, of Ramsey; 
J. Wellwood, of Barnes; and Erastus A. Williams, of Burleigh. 
The meeting was called to order and the following named 
made officers of the convention : F. B. Fancher, president ; J. G. 
Hamilton, chief clerk; C. C. Bowsfield, enrolling and engrossing 


clerk; Fred Falley, sergeant-at-arms ; J. S. Weiser, watchman; 
E. W. Knight, messenger; George Kline, chaplain; and R. M. 
Tuttle, official stenographer. 

The convention was in session some six weeks, adjourning 
August 17, 1889, during which time they formed a constitution 
which was submitted to the voters of the new state for their 
ratification or rejection. The election for this purpose and for 
the election of state officers took place upon October 1, 1889. 
and out of a total vote cast of 35,548, those in favor of the 
adoption of the constitution were 27,441, while those against it 
were 8,107. 

Official Vote for Governor. 

The following will show the official vote by counties for the 
office of governor, at this, the first state election : 

John Miller, Roach, 

Counties Rep. Dem. 

Barnes 1,191 498 

Burleigh 771 322 

Benson 467 111 

Bottineau 335 304 

Billings 45 14 

Cass 2,712 1,411 

Cavalier 647 534 

Dickey 1,087 506 

Eddy 241 161 

Emmons 391 78 

Foster 235 131 

Grand Forks 1,929 1,263 

Griggs 346 205 

Kidder 259 88 

La Moure 594 235 

Logan 77 13 

Morton 680 335 

McHenry 219 68 

McLean 223 41 

Mclntosh 375 20 


Mercer 70 15 

Nelson 628 260 

Oliver 28 48 

Pembina 1,553 1,241 

Pierce 181 46 

Richland 1,199 771 

Ransom 998 261 

Ramsey 779 343 

Rolette 250 238 

Stark 432 182 

Stutsman 818 603 

Steele 546 92 

Sargent 1,027 216 

Traill , 1,524 469 

Towner 184 244 

Walsh 1,842 1,100 

Wells 186 152 

Ward . 296 114 

Total 25,365 12,733 

Majority 12,632 

Proclamation of Admission. 

On November 2, 1889, President Harrison issued his procla- 
mation reciting the different provisions in the act authorizing 
the formation of the state, and showing that the same had been 
duly complied with, concluding: "Now, therefore, I, Benjamin 
Harrison, president of the United States of America, do, in 
accordance with the act of congress aforesaid, declare and pro- 
claim the fact that the conditions imposed by congress on the 
state of North Dakota to entitle that state to admission into the 
Union have been ratified and accepted, and that the admission 
of the said state into the Union is now complete. 

'Mn testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and 
caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the 


city of Washington this second day of November, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine, and of 
the independence of the United States of America the one hun- 
dred and fourteenth. 

"By the President, Benjamin Harrison. 

"James G. Blaine, 

"Secretary of State." 

Since admission the state of North Dakota has had the follow- 
ing state officers: 


(First state officers qualified November 4, 1889.) 

John Miller 1889-90 Frederick B. Fancher. .1899-00 

Andrew H. Burke 1891-92 Frank White 1901-02 

(b) Eli C. D. Shortridge 1893-94 Frank White 1903-04 

Roger Allin 1895-96 E. Y. Sarles 1905-06 

*Frank A. Briggs 1897-98 (b) John Burke 1907 

(a) Joseph M. Devine. .1898 

*Died in office, July, 1898. 

(a) Served out unexpired term of Governor Briggs. 

Lieutenant Governors. 

Alfred M. Dickey 1889-90 Joseph M. Devine 1899-00 

Eoger Allin 1891-92 David Bartlett 1901-02 

(b) Elmer D. Wallace. .1893-94 David Bartlett 1903-04 

John H. Worst 1895-96 David Bartlett 1905-06 

Joseph M. Devine 1897-98 E. S. Lewis 1907 

Secretaries of State. 

John Flittle 1889-92 E. F. Porter 1901-02 

Christian M. Dahl 1893-96 E. F. Porter 1903-04 

Fred Falley 1897-98 E. F. Porter 1905-06 

Fred Falley 1899-00 Alfred Blaisdell 1907 



*John P. Bray 1889-92 A. N. Carlblom 1899-00 

(a) Archie Currie 1892 A. N. Carlblom 1901-02 

(b) A. W. Porter 1893-94 H. L. Holmes 1903-04 

Frank A. Briggs 1895-96 H. L. Holmes 1905-06 

N. B. Hannum. . . .1897-98 H. L. Holmes. . . .1907 


(a) Appointed to fill vacancy, September 10, 1892. 


L. E. Booker 1889-92 D. H. McMillan 1901-02 

(b) Knud J. Nomland. .1893-94 D. H. McMillan 1903-04 

George E. Nichols 1895-96 Albert Peterson 1905-06 

George E. Nichols 1897-98 Albert Peterson 1907 

D. W. Driscoll 1899-00 

Attorney Generals. 

George F. Goodwin 1889-90 John F. Cowan 1899-00 

C. A. M. Spencer 1891-92 0. D. Comstock 1901-02 

(b) W. H. Standish. . . .1893-94 C. N. Frich 1903-04 

John F. Cowan 1895-96 C. N. Frich 1905-06 

John F. Cowan. . . .1897-98 T. F. McCue. . . .1907 

(b) Democrats. All others republicans. 

Superintendents of Public Instruction. 

* William Mitchell 1889-90 John G. Halland 1899-00 

*W. J. Clapp 1890 Joseph M. Devine 1901-02 

John Ogden 1891-92 W. L. Stockwell 1903-04 

(b) Laura J. Eisenhuth . 1893-94 W. L. Stockwell 1905-06 

Emma B. Bates 1895-9"6 W. L. Stockwell . . .1907 

John G. Halland.. ..1897-98 

^William Mitchell died March 10, 1890, and W. J. Clapp was 
appointed to fill the unexpired term. 


Commissioners of Agriculture and Labor. 

H. T. Helgeson 1889-92 R. J. Turner 1901-02 

(b) *Nelson Williams .. 1893-94 R. J. Turner 1903-04 

A. H. Laughlin 1895-96 W. C. Gilbreath 1905-06 

H. U. Thomas 1897-98 W. C. Gilbreath 1907 

H. U. Thomas.. ..1899-00 

*Appointed; Adams, who was elected, failed to qualify. 

Commissioners of Insurance. 

A. L. Carey 1889-92 Ferdinand Leutz 1901-02 

(b) James Cudhie 1893-94 Ferdinand Leutz 1903-04 

Fred B. Fancher 1895-96 E. C. Cooper 1905-06 

Fred B. Fancher 1897-98 E. C. Cooper 1907 

George W. Harrison. . .1899-00 

Commissioners of Railroads. 

George S. Montgomery . 1889-90 John Simons 1899-00 

T. S. Underbill 1889-90 L. L. Walton 1899-00 

David Bartlett 1889-90 Henry Erickson 1899-00 

George H. Walsh ...... 1891-92 J. F. Shea 1901-02 

George Harmon 1891-92 J. F. Youngblood 1901-02 

Andrew Slotten 1891-92 C. J. Lord 1901-02 

(b) Peter Cameron. . . .1893-94 J. F. Shea 1903-04 

(b) Ben Stevens 1893-94 C. J. Lord 1903-04 

(b) Nels P. Rasmussen. 1893-94 A. Schatz 1903-04 

John W. Currie 1895-96 C. S. Deisem 1905-06 

John Wamber g 1895-96 Erick Staf ne 1905-06 

George H. Keyes 1895-96 John Christiansen 1905-06 

George H. Keyes 1897-98 C. S. Deisem 1907 

L. L. Walton 1897-98 Erick Staf ne 1907 

J. R. Gibson 1897-98 Simon Westby 1907 

(b) Democrats. All others republicans. 


Judges of Supreme Court. 

At the first state election, October, 1889, Guy C. H. Corliss, 
Alfred Wallin and Joseph M. Bartholomew, were elected judges 
of the supreme court for terms, respectively, three, five and seven 
years, and by lot it was determined that Judge Corliss should 
serve the three years term, Judge Bartholomew for five years and 
Judge Wallin for seven years. Each served and others have 
been elected as follows: 

Guy C. H. Corliss, of Grand Forks, for the term of six years 
commencing December, 1893. 

J. M. Bartholomew, of LaMoure, for the term of six years 
commencing December, 1895. 

Alfred Wallin, of Fargo, for the term of six years commenc- 
ing December, 1897. 

N. C. Young, of Fargo, for the term of six years commencing 
December, 1898. Re-elected for the term of six years commencing 
December, 1904. Resigned, 1906. 

Guy C. H. Corliss resigned 1898 and N. C. Young was ap- 
pointed to fill the unexpired term, and then elected in 1898. 

(b) David Morgan, of Devils Lake, for the term of six years 
commencing December, 1900. Re-elected in 1906. 

John M. Cochrane, of Grand Forks, for the term of six years 
commencing December, 1902. Died July 20, 1904. Edward 
Engerud, of Fargo, was appointed to fill unexpired term. 

Edward Engerud, of Fargo, for the term of six years com- 
mencing December, 1904. Resigned, 1907. 

John Knauf, Jamestown, appointed to succeed N. C. Young, 
resigned. Served until December 15, 1906. 

(b) C. J. Fisk, Grand Forks, elected 1906, to fill unexpired 
term of N. C. Young. 

B. F. Spalding, Fargo, appointed 1907, to fill unexpired term 
of Edward Engerud. 

Judges of District Courts. Terms expire 

First District (b) Charles F. Templeton 1896 

First District (b) Charles J. Fisk* 1908 

First District (b) Charles F. Templeton** 1908 

Second District (b) David E. Morgan 1900 


Second District John Cowan 1908 

Third District (b) Wm. B. McConnell 1896 

Third District Charles A. Pollock 1908 

Fourth District W. S. Lander 1906 

Fourth District Frank P. Allen 1908 

Fifth District (b) Roderick Rose 1896 

Fifth District S. L. Glaspell 1906 

Fifth District Edward T. Burke 1908 

Sixth District W. H. Winchester 1908 

Seventh District Q. E. Sauter 1900 

Seventh District W. J. Kneeshaw 1908 

Eighth District L. J. Palda 1904 

Eighth District E. B. Goss 1908 

(b) Democrats. All others republicans. 
*Appointed judge supreme court, 1906. 

**Appointed to fill vacancy by election of C. J. Fisk to su- 
preme court. 

First Session of the Legislative Assembly Since Statehood. 

Convened November 19, 1889, and adjourned March 18, 1900. 
The membership was as follows : 


Lieutenant Governor Alfred Dickey, President. 
C. C. Bowsfield, Secretary. 


Judson LaMoure, H. J. Rowe, 

*A. F. Appleton, *H. R. Hartman, 

Roger Allin, Andrew Slotten, 

* James H. Bell, Andrew Helgeson, 

J. E. Stevens, Andrew Sandager, 

*M. L. McCormack, Samuel A. Fisher, 

George B. Winship, J. 0. Smith, 

W. H. Robinson, D. S. Dodds, 

John E. Haggart, *John McBride, 



*R. D. Cowan, 

E. L. Yeager, 
W. E. Swanston, 

F. G. Barlow, 
Bailey Fuller, 
H. S. Deisem, 

*M. E. Randall, 

J. H. Worst, 
C. B. Little, 
Anton Svensrud, 
E. H. Belyea, 
George Harmon, 
N. C. Lawrence. 

^Democrats. All others republicans. 


David B. "Wellman, Speaker. 
J. G. Hamilton, Chief Clerk. 


John H. Watt, 

R. B. Richardson, 
*H. L. Norton, 

John Stadleman, 

John H. McCullough, 

A. N. Foss, 

John Montgomery, 

A. 0. Haugerud, 

Alex. Thomson, 

Franklin Estabrook, 

Nels Tangberg, 

George H. Walsh, 
*L. F. Zimmer, 

A. P. Haugen, 

Ole T. Gronli, 

Roderick J. Johnson, 
*0. T. Jahr, 

J. F. Selby, 

H. H. Strom, 

E. S. Tyler, 

F. J. Thompson, 
Eli D. Mclntyre, 
N. B. Pinkham, 

John 0. Bye, 
H. D. Court, 
Frank J. Langer, 
W. W. Beard, 
R. H. Hankinson, 
R. N. Ink, 
A. 0. Heglie, 
E. W. Bowen, 
W. S. Buchanan, 
R. N. Stevens, 
J. L. Green, 
Duncan McDonald, 

C. J. Christiansen, 
W. H. H. Roney, 
Chris. Balkan, 
Ole E. Olsgard, 

*W. H. Murphy, 

*F. R. Renaud, 
James Brittin, 
G. E. Ingebretsen, 

D. P. Thomas, 
James McCormick, 
C. A. Currier, 


D. B. Wellman, W. L. Belden, 

Luther L. Walters, E. A. Williams, 

George Lutz, George W. Rawlings, 

John Milsted, James Reed, 

L. A. Ueland, A. C. Nedrud, 

W. B. Allen, A. W. Hoyt, 

A. T. Cole., P. B. Wickham, 

George W. Lilly, C. C. Moore, 

*Democrats. All others republicans. 




George B. Winship. 

The date of the permanent settlement of the Red River 
Valley may properly be fixed in the spring of 1871, when with 
the establishment. of a line of stage coaches by Blakely & Car- 
penter, of St. Paul, between Fort Abercrombie and Winnipeg, 
or Fort Garry, as the northern frontier post was then known, 
together with the initial trip of the steamer Selkirk, built at 
McCauleyville the previous winter, the first actual settlers took 
up their abode here with the intention of making this fertile 
valley their permanent home. It is true there were a few set- 
tlers at different points prior to 1871 notably a small settlement 
at Breckenridge, which place was surveyed and platted by real 
estate speculators in 1856, who saw visions of railroad enter- 
prises permeating the entire Northwest. These promoters hailed 
from Kentucky, and they had extensive interests in different 
sections of northern Minnesota. The railroads failed to mate- 
rialize, however, and the development under their auspices was 
also visionary. R. M. Probstfield and J. M. Hutchinson settled 
at points on the Red river north of the present city of Moorhead 
as early as 1857, and the Georgetown settlement still farther 
down the river, which, by the way, was but a trading post built 
by the Hudson Bay Fur Company, is another point where white 
men located antedating postoffices. At Pembina and along the 
Pembina river to St. Joe were also settlements composed largely 
of half breeds, whose avocation was principally buffalo hunting 



and serving the Hudson Bay, Northwest and other fur trading 
companies in various capacities. This northern settlement, with 
Pembina as its base, is older than any other in the Northwest 
along the border line as it began almost simultaneously with 
the Selkirk colony in Manitoba as early as 1800. Practically 
from this date until 1871 there was little progress made in the 
settlement of this vast empire. 

The commercial relations of this new Northwest with other 
sections of the country began about 1835, when trips were made 
to St. Louis by dog train and ox cart for merchandise in ex- 
change for furs. Then for some time Prairie du Chien, Wis., 
was the nearest supply point and in the early 50 's St. Paul. 
Minn., became the base of supplies. The trade of the Red River 
Valley was held by St. Paul for many years, until the stage 
coach and steamboat and railroad moved northward and sup- 
plan,ted the dog train and ox cart as mediums of transportation. 

Brief mention may be made at this point of a number of inter- 
esting events antedating the actual beginning of the permanent 
settlement here, but which nevertheless have some connection 
with the subsequent history. In 1842 Joseph Rolette came from 
Mendota, Minn., to Pembina, to look after the American Fur 
Company's extensive interests which were for some time centered 
there. In 1843 Norman W. Kittson came from St. Paul to Pem- 
bina and established a post for fur trading. Several years later 
Canadian traders set up a post two miles from Pembina and 
attempted to secure some of the trade coming there, but Joe 
Rolette with a force of employes tumbled their goods out, fired 
their building and drove them back across the boundary line. 
For years there was much friction between the traders of the 
two countries. 

In 1849 Robert Dale Owen visited the Red River Valley and 
made several canoe voyages up and down the river. He was 
accompanied by Capt. John Pope, of the army engineering corps. 
Their report resulted in the war department dispatching Major 
Woods here a year later to select a site for a military post on 
or near the international border. A site was selected at Pem- 
bina, but the actual construction of the post was not undertaken 
until ten years later. 



The first postoffice in North Dakota was established at Pem- 
bina in 1851, with Norman "W. Kittson as postmaster. Charles 
Cavalier was during the same year appointed deputy collector 
of customs at Pembina and was assistant postmaster and had 
charge of the office. Later Cavalier was appointed postmaster, 
a position he held for nearly half a century, and was succeeded 
by his son, E. W. Cavalier, who is still in charge of the office. 

In 1852 Kittson removed to St. Joe and established a trading 
post there, which he conducted for many years and amassed 
large wealth. Kittson was elected to the territorial council in 
1862. Joe Rolette was elected to the lower house in 1863 and 
Antoine Gingras was re-elected. 

The fur trade of the Northwest developed to considerable 
proportions between 1855 and 1870 and several hundred carts 
were employed in the traffic between Pembina, St. Joe and St. 
Paul. In 1859 Capt. Russell Blakely and others bought the 
steamer Freighter at St. Paul and took it up the Minnesota 
river with the purpose of transferring it over to the headwaters 
of the Red river during the spring floods. The effort was almost 
successful, but the waters receding before the task was com- 
pleted the boat was stranded a short distance from the river and 
was finally abandoned there. Later in the year, however, the 
steamer Anson Northurp was built opposite the mouth of the 
Sheyenne river, and made the first steamer trip to Fort Garry 
in Canada. Later the boat was named the Pioneer. 

Fort Abercrombie was established in 1859. It was abandoned 
a year later, but was rebuilt and again occupied in 1860. A 
Hudson Bay trading post was established at Georgetown in 1859 
with James McKay in charge. The steamer International was 
built at Georgetown in 1861. The Sioux outbreak in 1862, besides 
frightening away settlers from the valley, interfered with the 
river traffic for a few years, but during the latter sixties the 
trade between Georgetown and Fort Garry by means of steam- 
boats and lighters was resumed and in addition to the carrying 
of furs from the north large quantities of merchandise for traders 
and settlers in Canada were transported, being freighted over- 
land from St. Paul to Georgetown. At this time there were a 
number of people living along the river at various points, but 


they were there incidentally to the river traffic and the fur trade 
and not as permanent residents. 

Following the fearful Sioux outbreak in August, 1862, the 
siege of Fort Abercrombie and the atrocities committed by the 
Indians, most of those who had been temporary residents of the 
valley took their departure, evidently not caring to risk further 
depredations by the Sioux. Several demonstrations were made 
by the military authorities, besides punishing the leaders of the 
outbreak. Major Hatch with a detachment from Fort Snelling, 
known as Hatch's battalion, traversed the valley in the fall of 
1863, remaining at Fort Pembina during the winter, and returned 
to Fort Snelling in the spring of 1864. Later in the same year 
Major Cunningham conducted a military expedition to Devils 
Lake, and thence to the Red River valley, and then back to the 
fort. It was some years, however, before the effects of the Indian 
scare gave place to returning confidence. 

In 1867 Pembina county was organized, comprising most of 
the eastern part of North Dakota. Charles Cavalier, Joseph 
Rolette and Charles Grant were the first commissioners. They 
appointed John Harrison as register of deeds, William Moorhead 
as sheriff, James McFetridge judge of probate, and John Braease 
superintendent of schools. 

The mail service was extended from Fort Abercrombie to 
Pembina, carts being used in the summer and dog trains in the 
winter. In 1868 Nick Hoffman and August Loon established a 
mail station near the present residence of Judge Corliss in Grand 
Forks, and in 1870 a postoffice was established at "Le Grand 
Fourche," with Sanford C. Cady as postmaster, and the post- 
office was named Grand Forks. Mr. Cady is still a resident of 
Grand Forks county. The office was established for the con- 
venience of those engaged in traffic along the Red and Red Lake 
rivers, although there were but few settlers living at Grand 
Forks at that time. 

The movements towards the settlement of northwestern Can- 
ada during the early seventies was an .influential factor in the 
development of the Red River valley. The province of Mani- 
toba was without rail connections with the East, and the most 
available route for emigrants who began pouring into that coun- 


try in 1870, following the acquisition of title to the Hudson Bay 
Company land by the government, was by rail to St. Cloud, Minn., 
thence by stage to McCauleyville, Minn., and then down the Red 
River valley to Fort Garry, or Winnipeg, which came into exist- 
ence near the site of the old fort in 1863. The Hudson Bay Com- 
pany had discouraged immigration to its domain, and the pioneer 
steamers which had been in commission on the Red river between 
1860 and 1870 found comparatively little business except the 
transportation of supplies for employees of the fur company and 
merchandise for its trading-posts, which were numerous over 
northwestern Canada. With the opening up of the country to 
settlement, however, the conditions soon changed and a very 
extensive traffic developed. The emigrants pouring into the 
Canadian domain required lumber and other building material, 
and household and other supplies. These were shipped to St. 
Paul by rail, and from the terminus of the railroad there were 
freighted to the Red River valley by ox carts, and from Mc- 
Cauleyville to Winnipeg by steamboat and flatboats. During 
1870 no less than forty flatboats, or scows, were constructed at 
McCauleyville, with a carrying capacity of from ten to forty 
tons each. These were floated down the river to Winnipeg, 
where they were taken apart after being unloaded, and the lum- 
ber in them sold. The river presented a busy scene with its 
numerous fleets of scows as well as several steamers plying up 
and down. 

A large proportion of the freight en route from St. Paul and 
other eastern points to Winnipeg, or Fort Garry, as the place 
was generally known, passed through the hands of James J. Hill, 
at that time engaged in the warehouse and forwarding business 
in St. Paul. Impressed by the rapidly growing traffic, with 
doubtless some conception of its possible magnitude in the future, 
Mr. Hill in the spring of 1870 made a trip to Winnipeg by dog 
train conveyance, and was so convinced of the future of the traffic 
that on his return he forthwith undertook the construction of a 
steamboat for the traffic. He commissioned Captain Alexander 
Griggs, a Mississippi river boatman, to build the steamer Selkirk. 
Captain Griggs left his home in Henderson, Minn., in July, 1870, 
with a crew of boat carpenters and timber cutters, and, pro- 


ceeding to the Otter Tail river, one of the headwaters of the Eed, 
they began the work of felling the trees for the boat, and also 
for a number of fiatboats. The timber was rafted down to 
McCauleyville, where the work of construction of the steamboat 
was commenced early in the winter. During the fall Captain 
Griggs was engaged in freighting merchandise down the Red 
river in flatboats. It was while he was engaged in this work that 
an episode occurred which had its bearing on the future history 
of Grand Forks. The writer of this sketch happened to be tem- 
porarily engaged at the same time in the river traffic, and late 
in October loaded two flatboats, one of ten tons and the other of 
forty tons capacity, with merchandise at McCauleyville, for 
A. W. Stiles, post trader at Pembina, by whom he was employed. 
Captain Griggs was at the same time loading a fleet of flatboats 
destined for Fort Garry. A good-natured but nevertheless lively 
rivalry existed between the different crews as to the facility with 
which their boats could be handled. At this time, when the 
writer's crew had their two flatboats finally loaded and set out for 
Pembina, Captain Griggs' crew had about half a day's work 
before the loading of its fleet could be completed ; but the crew 
boasted, with more or less vehemence, that they would overhaul 
the rival fleet before reaching Pembina. Our fleet met with no 
difficulty in its passage down the river until Goose Rapids were 
reached, where, on account of low water and a rocky channel, 
the entire cargo had to be reloaded on a "lighter," which was 
carefully towed over the rapids. Two days elapsed before this 
work was accomplished. On the evening of the second day the 
shouts of men were heard up the river, and we knew that Griggs' 
fleet had reached the head of the rapids. Confident of main- 
taining our lead, and exhausted by the hard work of the past two 
days, we determined to tie up for the night and enjoy needed rest 
and sleep. Before morning a violent sleet and snow storm raged. 
The smaller flatboat, which had been loaded down heavily, filled 
with snow and water, with the result that a portion of the cargo, 
consisting, specifically, of kegs of beer, washed overboard, and 
when daylight dawned the kegs were floating down the river on 
their own account. The boats started out and succeeded in 
picking up all but one of the kegs, which escaped observation. It 


appears that the stray contraband package was espied by some 
member of the Griggs expedition following, was taken on board, 
and a jollification ensued, with the result that more or less of 
the crew were soon out of commission, and Captain Griggs found 
it necessary to tie up his fleet when the forks of the Eed and 
Red Lake rivers were reached, and wait for the effects of the 
accident to be overcome. In the meantime the weather turned 
cold, and while the small fleet was able to reach Pembina, Cap- 
tain Griggs' boats were unable to proceed any farther, on account 
of the river freezing over. The boats were finally unloaded, the 
freight piled on the shore, and lumber from the boats used in 
building a shed over them. This occupied several days, and Cap- 
tain Griggs appears to have come to the conclusion that the site 
offered attractions for a future town. He took possession of a 
quarter section, which afterward became the town site, by the 
" squatter" process, and began improvements to the extent of 
partially erecting a log house. His chief clerk, Howard R. 
Vaughan, also took possession of a "claim" adjoining Captain 
Griggs' land on the north and including the Riverside Park sec- 
tion of the present city. Having done this, Captain Griggs re- 
turned to his home in Henderson, Minn., leaving Vaughan to 
begin the work of construction of the steamboat. While at home 
Captain Griggs interested a number of other residents of Hen- 
derson in the establishment of a town on the site of the present 
city of Grand Porks. 

It will be noted that the entire history of the valley has had 
to do with the incidental occupation of various points along the 
river as a part of the fur traffic and of the transportation of 
supplies for the settlers in Canada and the occupants of the 
various military and trading posts of the Northwest. It is prob- 
able that actual settlement in the Red River valley would have 
followed the exploitations of the Kentucky company in 1856 
were it not for the great financial panic of 1857 and the political 
agitation which led to the breaking out of the war in 1861. Un- 
doubtedly this company intended to colonize certain localities 
in the Northwest on a large scale, but before it had fully inaugu- 
rated its scheme the great disturbance referred to ensued, the 
result being postponement of settlement for fifteen years. In 


1871 great impetus was given to immigration by railroad enter- 
prises then under way. The Northern Pacific railroad was under 
construction from Duluth westward, and was completed to the 
Red river at Moorhead late in the fall of 1871. The St. Paul & 
Pacific road was also extended to Breckenridge and a branch 
northward to St. Vincent was under construction. But the most 
important factor of all was the acquirement by the Dominion of 
Canada of the governmental rights of the Hudson Bay Company 
(in 1871) to the territory lying on the northern border, known 
as Prince Rupert's land, which had a wide influence on the early 
settlement of the Red River valley. The influx of immigrants 
had hardly commenced, however, when the Jay Cooke failure 
in 1873 and the great grasshopper scourge of 1874 to 1876 mate- 
rially checked the movement, which did not revive in any great 
degree for several years. 

As has already been noted, such settlement as the Red River 
valley had attained previous to 1870 or 1871, was of a temporary 
character and related in but a slight degree to the subsequent 
development. Some of the early sojourners here, who came to 
the valley originally because of the river traffic or fur trade, 
remained until after the fur trade had dwindled to insignificance 
and the traffic of the river boats had been largely absorbed by 
the railroads. Several of the stage stations established along 
the river between Georgetown and Pembina furnished temporary 
accommodations for the settlers coming into the valley later ; but 
Georgetown, Frog Point, Belmont, Turtle River, Kelly's Point 
and Thirty-Mile Point are but reminders of the past. The Grand 
Forks stage station of forty years ago occupied a site about half 
a mile distant from the commodious caravansaries of the present 
city, and the site thereof is occupied by the palatial residences on 
Reeves avenue. 

The military post at Fort Abercrombie was abandoned soon 
after the permanent settlement of the valley began, but the post 
at Pembina was occupied for a score of years later, and the 
customs office at Pembina remains to this day, as a tie binding 
the old settlements to the new. And Pembina alone has an 
unbroken record of habitation dating back more than forty 
years. McAuleyville, once the scene of great activity as the 


head of navigation for an international highway of more than 
500 miles in extent, and as the site of the first manufacturing 
enterprise in the valley, in the form of a sawmill where material 
for the early boats and some of the early building structures was 
cut, is now all but forgotten. 

The establishment of the line of stages between Fort Aber- 
crombie and Winnipeg, already mentioned, furnished temporary 
occupation for a number of station agents and attaches, who 
remained, entered other occupations and became permanent resi- 
dents; likewise some of the number who were engaged in the 
river traffic. Gardens and fields of greater or less extent were 
cultivated in connection with the stage stations and military 
posts, and the marvelous fertility of the valley soil gradually 
became known outside, and during the early seventies the ad- 
vance guard of the throng of actual settlers who followed a little 
later occupied claims here and there along the river. The con- 
struction of the Northern Pacific railroad from Duluth toward 
the Red River valley attracted quite a number of settlers to the 
vicinity of Moorhead and Fargo in 1871 and 1872, the prospective 
location of a town at the crossing of the Red river by the railroad. 

A number of families by the name of Hicks located near the 
present village of Hickson, in Cass county, in 1869. Ole Stand- 
void came from Douglass county, Minnesota, and located in the 
spring of 1870. Lars, Paul and Morten Mortenson located near 
the mouth of the Sheyenne river the same year, and D. P. Harris 
located in that section during the winter of 1870-71. Walter 
J. S. Traill was placed in charge of the Hudson Bay company's 
interests in 1870, with headquarters at Georgetown. He ap- 
pointed A. H. Morgan agent at Belmont, and Asa Sargent was 
located at Caledonia about the same time. 

One of the first permanent settlers in Grand Forks was George 
W. Aker, who is still a resident of the city. Mr. Aker came from 
Milwaukee to McCauleyville in September, 1870, and was engaged 
in teaming from that point during the fall. In February, 1871, 
H. R. Vaughn, who had been employed during the winter build- 
ing the steamer Selkirk at McCauleyville, secured an appoint- 
ment in the custom office at Pembina and took his departure for 
that point. Aker accompanied him as far as Grand Forks, and 


en route agreed with Vaughn to hold the latter 's claim, compris- 
ing a portion of the present city of Grand Forks, for him. Aker 
built a log house near the site of St. Michael's hospital, which 
was for years one of the landmarks of the city as the first per- 
manent residence in Grand Forks. Mr. Aker fulfilled his part 
of the agreement with Vaughn, but Vaughn finally turned the 
claim over to Aker as a part of his compensation for time 
employed in holding the same. 

About the first of April, 1871, a party consisting of Thomas 
Walsh, Burton Haney, James Jenks and Alexander Blair, in 
accordance with an arrangement with Alex Griggs, left Hender- 
son, Minn., bound for Grand Forks. They took with them the 
equipment for a small sawmill and a stock of general merchan- 
dise, which they freighted over to Georgetown. Arriving there, 
they found the river open but the steamer Selkirk not yet in 
commission. A flatboat was hastily constructed, and, loading 
their outfit thereon, they floated down the river, arriving at 
Grand Forks April 15. Putting a floor, roof, window and door 
on the cabin partially constructed by Captain Griggs, they made 
it their temporary abode until they could construct other quar- 
ters. The sawmill machinery was set up and after the mill was 
constructed they erected several other buildings, including a 
general store building which was occupied by the firm of Griggs 
& Walsh. The steamer Selkirk was launched April 12 and 
reached Grand Forks on the 18th, in command of Captain Alex. 
Griggs. The Selkirk brought a number of passengers, and among 
those who came here on that and subsequent trips who were 
identified with the growth of Grand Forks were James Elton, 
D. M. Holmes, M. L. McCormack, Joseph Greenwood, D. P. 
Reeves, 0. S. Freeman and others. John Stewart took charge of 
the stage station about the same time, and succeeded Sanford 
Cady as postmaster. John Fadden located a claim south of 
Captain Griggs' and was for a number of years in charge of a 
ferry across the river just below the mouth of the Red Lake river. 
He also ran the Northwestern hotel for a while, and was one 
of the active men of the community. 

During the spring of 1871 there was marked activity in the 
valley, occasioned by the extension of the Blakely & Carpenter 


line of stage coaches from Fort Abercrombie to Winnipeg. The 
suppression of the Kiel rebellion by the forces of General Wolse- 
ley, the establishment of stable government in the province of 
Assiniboia, and the influx of settlers from the Canadian mari- 
time provinces made speedier and better communication an im- 
perative necessity. Four-horse coaches moved up and down the 
valley every day. The roads were improved and bridges built 
across the little streams, and by the middle of May the system 
was in good working order. The relay stations erected at con- 
venient points along the route soon became centers of small 
settlements. Down the valley from Abercrombie there was a sta- 
tion at Hutchinson's ferry, kept by J. M. Hutchinson; then at 
Georgtown (Mr. Sterns kept the hostelry) ; at Elm River (Ned 
Griffin) ; at Goose River (Asa Sargent) ; at Frog Point (Howard 
Morgan) ; at Grand Forks (John Stewart) ; at Turtle River 
(Budge & Winship) ; at Kelley's Point (Andrus & Kelly) ; at 
Thirty-Mile Point (James Hastings and Hugh Biggerstaff) ; at 
Twelve-Mile Point (Frank La Rose), and at Pembina (Antoine 
Girard and George F. Potter). For the first year or two these 
stations were of the crudest and most primitive construction, 
but they furnished shelter and food for the traveler, and were 
more appreciated than are the comfortable, hotels along the same 
route at this time. The Turtle River station, where the town 
of Manuel is now located, was a sample structure. It was made 
of logs and roofed with sod cut from the virgin prairie. After 
the rains had washed most of the sod off, the thatching process 
was resorted to, long, rank reeds being cut from nearby marshes 
and muddied on by the sticky clay so abundant in the Red River 
valley. There was one window and a door in the building, but 
no floor the first year, and no stove or other household furni- 
ture. Cooking was done in a fireplace made of clay dobies, and 
meals were served on an improvised table constructed from such 
material as could be found in the nearby bush. Notwithstanding 
their primitivenes, these stations were comfortable in the coldest 
days of the winter. Roaring fires in the fireplaces radiated both 
heat and cheer, and travelers invariably paid, without complaint, 
fifty cents per meal, and the same amount for the privilege of 
sleeping on the floor. 


During the year 1871 a telegraph line was constructed from 
Fort Abercrombie to "Winnipeg, and thus another progressive 
step was made which brought the sparsely settled valley some 
nearer the civilized centers of the East. During this same year 
the first settlers located on the Red Lake river opposite Grand 
Forks, the Coulter and Fleming families being among those 
locating. Later "W. C. Nash, the Nesbit brothers, and others 
joined the settlement, and by 1875 it was one of the most thriving 
communities in the Northwest. Mr. W. C. Nash's settlement in 
the valley dates from the early sixties, when he engaged in busi- 
ness both at Abercrombie and Pembina. He has been a resident 
of the country ever since, and at present owns one of the finest 
farms in the valley, adjacent to the city of East Grand Forks. 

The nucleus of an early settlement was started at Acton, in 
Walsh county, in 1878, when Budge, Eshelman & Anderson 
opened a general merchandise store at that place. This was the 
gateway to the Park River country and was an important trade 
center until cut off by the completion of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis & Manitoba road to Graf ton. Antoine Girard, Thomas Parr 
and F. M. Winship were among the early settlers of Acton. Mr. 
Winship established a weekly paper, "The Acton News," in 1880, 
which was afterward moved to Graf ton and merged with the 
"Times" and now known as the "News-Times." Among the 
first settlers at Grafton were Thomas E. Cooper, Nathan Upham 
and Jacob Reinhart, whose settlement antedates the arrival of the 
iron horse. Farther up Park river was a settlement known as 
Kensington, C. H. Honey, E. 0. Faulkner and the Cade brothers 
being among the early locators. 

A judicial district, comprising the eastern portion of the 
present state of North Dakota, was established by the legislature 
of the territory during the session of 1870-71, and Pembina was 
designated as the place of holding court. The first session was 
held there in 1871, and Judge George W. French presided. George 
I. Foster was clerk of court; L. H. Litchfield and Judson La 
Moure, who had recently arrived from the southern part of the 
territory, were assistant marshals; Warren Cowles was United 
States attorney. This was the first court held in North Dakota. 

When the engineers of the Northern Pacific railway, early in 


July, 1871, finally, after several feints, located the crossing of 
the Red river where the bridge was later built, a number who 
had been holding claims at points along the river, in hopes of 
owning the town site, abandoned their claims and moved else- 
where. It was found that men in the employ of the Superior 
Land Company were in the possession of nearly every claim in the 
vicinity. The land company later withdrew and the railroad com- 
pany received title to section six, and section seven was divided 
among S. G. Roberts, Patrick Devitt, A. J. Marwood, Gordon J. 
Keeney and Harriet Young. The town of Moorhead was laid 
out. Fargo was not platted until a year later, but during the 
fall of 1871, owing to the high prices of lots in Moorhead, many 
moved across the river to ''Fargo in the timber" and squatted 
there for the winter. Terrence Martin opened up a store in a 
tent, which was the first mercantile enterprise in the state, except 
those connected with the fur posts, military posts and stage sta- 
tions. It was discovered that the land on the west side of the 
river at Fargo was Indian land, and this deterred actual settle- 
ment there for some time. It was not thrown open to settlement 
until 1873. Peter Peterson and Roderick Nelson took squatter 
claims in the country just north of Fargo in 1871. C. A. Roberts 
and John E. Haggart were also among the number who took 
claims in the vicinity. A. J. Harwood and G. J. Keeney together 
established in 1874 "The Fargo Express," the first newspaper 
in the valley. 

Job Smith located on the site of the present city of Moorhead 
about 1868 and for some time kept a stage station there. Andrew 
Holes came to the valley in 1869 and was engaged with the first 
public surveys on the east side of the river. Later he was em- 
ployed by Jay Cooke and others in locating land for them, with a 
view to securing it on the advent of the Northern Pacific. He 
made his headquarters with R. M. Probsfield, who had located 
three miles north of Moorhead some years before. When the 
engineers finally decided On the crossing which was adopted by 
the Northern Pacific, Holes arranged with Smith to prove up on 
his claim, and then purchased it of him for the railroad mag- 
nates. The engineers had run several false lines, one to Probs- 
field 's, which became known as Oakport, and one as far north 


as Georgetown. Quite a number of prospective business men 
of the crossing town were watching the engineers' movements, 
with a view of locating a claim at just the right point. Among 
the number were Jacob Metzger, Peter Goodman and D. P. Harris, 
who had been engaged in the fur trade, and Dennis Hanafin. 
S. G. Comstock was with the construction company of the rail- 
road. Alex. Gamble, James Holes, John Kinan, Jens Johnson, 
Ole Lee, Ole Matheson and others located along the west side of 
the river. Andrew Holes located a claim where Fargo stands, 
and later bought several other claims, and the town site company 
scripped the land on the west side of the river, comprising 
several quarter sections. James Culbertson, 0. N. Olsgaard, Tver 
Johnson and others located at the mouth of the Sheyenne river. 
The Puget Sound Land Company scripped considerable land 
in the vicinity of Fargo and Moorhead, and at a meeting of the 
company held in September, 1871, Fargo was named in honor 
of William G. Fargo, of the Wells-Fargo Express Company, and 
Moorhead was named in honor of William G. Moorhead, of the 
Northern Pacific directory. A postoffice had been previously 
established at Fargo, by the name of Centralia, with G. J. Keeney 
as postmaster, but the name was afterwards changed to Fargo. 
The Fargo town site was surveyed and platted in 1872. The 
first building in Fargo was erected by J. S. Mann in 1871 and was 
occupied as a hotel by Mann and A. H. Moore. The Headquarters 
hotel was commenced in 1871, but was not finished and occupied 
until a year later. It w&s opened by J. B. Chapin, April 1, 1873. 
E. Sweet erected the second building late in 1871 and occupied 
it as a headquarters for the bridgebuilders. The Sherman house 
was erected by Terrance Martin and opened July 4, 1873. Mann 
& Maddocks opened the first store in Fargo, except the tent store 
of Martin, in a building they erected in the spring of 1872. The 
rails were laid to Moorhead on the Northern Pacific on Decem- 
ber 12, 1871. The first preaching services in Fargo and Moor- 
head were held by Eev. 0. H. Elmer in 1872. At the close of 
the year 1872 the two or three hotels, a wagon and blacksmith 
shop, two or three saloons, the engineers' headquarters, and 
several tar-paper shacks and tents constituted all there was of 



Cass county was organized in 1874 and was named after 
General Lewis Cass, of Michigan, who was at that time president 
of the Northern Pacific railroad. Construction work on the North- 
ern Pacific moved westward during 1871 and 1872, and a few 
settlers located along the line. D. D. McFadgen and Richard 
McKinnon opened a hotel on the site of the present Valley City 
in 1871, and the town later was built up there. 

Grand Forks was in 1871 in Pembina county, which then in- 
cluded most of the eastern portion of the present state. The 
commissioners of the county in 1871 created new voting pre- 
cincts. Grand Forks was made the polling place of a district 
the northern boundary of which was the Park river, the western 
boundary the western limits of the county, and the southern 
boundary the Goose river. Thomas Walsh, Sanford Cady and 
John Fadden were appointed judges of election. 

The year 1872 was a somewhat disastrous year to the valley. 
Scarcely any rain fell from the first of May until late in the fall. 
Vegetation dried up and turned brown early in August. Early 
in September prairie fires raged all over the valley and left the 
surface of the ground blackened and desolate. It was indeed 
little wonder that General Hazen, who was sent out by the gov- 
ernment that summer to investigate the resources of the country 
through which the Northern Pacific railway passed, reported 
that it was a barren waste, fit only for Indians and buffalo. The 
following winter there was a very heavy snowfall, and a serious 
flood in the spring, and then came the financial panic. 

Frog Point, now Belmont, which was established as a Hudson 
Bay post in 1871, was for several years the head of navigation 
and an important shipping point for the river traffic. A. M. 
Morgan had charge of the post there, and Asa Sargent was in 
charge at Goose River, now Caledonia. Later, after the Hudson 
Bay Company retired, Caledonia became the shipping point for 
the settlers coming into Traill county, and was at one time in 
the seventies a town of 300 population. A. M. Morgan was 
engaged in business there, and also J. E. Paulson, John Sundt, 
M. Shelly and E. T. Jahr. When the railroad was built from 
Grand Forks to Fargo, later, Hillsboro supplanted Caledonia, 


and the most of the business men there moved over to the new 

The Hudson Bay Company moved its headquarters from 
Georgetown to Grand Forks in 1873 and bought the Griggs & 
Walsh store, and also the sawmill. The company also erected 
the Northwestern hotel. "W. J. S. Traill was in charge of the 
company's store, and Frank Viets, who had opened a hotel at 
Georgetown in 1870 in the post building, took charge of the 
Northwestern hotel. 

The new territorial legislature of 1872 passed a bill creating 
several new counties, among them Grand Forks, Cass, Eichland, 
Cavalier, Ransom, Foster, LaMoure, Renville and Stutsman. The 
act was signed by the ' governor January 4, 1873. John W. 
Stewart, Ole Thompson and G. B. Winship were named as the 
first commissioners. Thompson failed to qualify, and in July, 
Messrs. Stewart and Winship named 0. S. Freeman to fill the 
vacancy, and the board proceeded to the organization of the 
county. J. J. Mullen was appointed register of deeds and county 
clerk; Thomas Walsh, judge of probate; 0. S. Freeman, county 
attorney and superintendent of schools; Alex. Griggs, treasurer, 
and Nick Hoffman, sheriff. The organization was allowed to 
lapse, and' a reorganization was effected in 1874, Governor Bur- 
bank appointing D. P. Keeves, G. A. Wheeler and Alex. Griggs 
as commissioners. They completed the organization in March, 
1875, by the appointment of James Elton as register of deeds; 
Nick Hoffman, sheriff; Thomas Walsh, treasurer and judge of 
probate; George A. Wheeler, superintendent of schools. 

The failure of Jay Cooke in 1873 and the financial crash which 
followed not only had the effect of causing a suspension of work 
on the extension of the Northern Pacific through North Dakota, 
but retarded, to a great extent, immigration, which had begun 
populating the valley ; and it was a number of years before there 
was again a movement in this direction. Grand Forks remained 
but a struggling village of one or two hundred population. Fargo 
had not very much the better of it in this respect, and the other 
towns of the valley were but mere hamlets. A large proportion 
of the land within a few miles of the Eed river had been filed 
on by prospective settlers or speculators, who used scrip, but 



comparatively little farming was being done anywhere in the 
valley. There was no market here for grain, and no railroad 
near enough to haul out grain if it had been marketed. Some 
small areas farther south in the vicinity of Fargo were being 
cultivated and the surplus products shipped out over the North- 
ern Pacific. In 1876 Frank Viets erected in Grand Forks a 
hotel, for years known as the Viets house, and now the Hotel 
Hall. He also erected a flour mill, and this gave some little 
impetus to the cultivation of wheat, but it was some years before 
the tributary population became numerous enough to keep the 
wheels grinding steadily, although the capacity was but fifty 
barrels at first. 

The river traffic developed to considerable proportions be- 
tween 1875 and 1880. A boat yard was established in Grand 
Forks by D. P. Reeves, and the steamer Sheyenne was built here, 
and later other steamers. The steamers Minnesota and Manitoba 
were built at Moorhead in 1875. About the same time N. W. 
Kittson and others organized the Red River Transportation Com- 
pany, which has been in business and navigating the river con- 
tinuously ever since. The steamer Alpha was built by the com- 
pany at McCauleyville, and later the steamer Alsop was built by 
H. W. Alsop, of Fargo. He also bought the steamer Pluck, at- 
Brainerd, transported it by rail to Moorhead, where it was 
lengthened and again launched. These boats were later bought 
by the Red River Transportation Company, and subsequently the 
same company constructed the steamer Grand Forks and numer- 
ous barges. In addition to the steamboats plying the river, 
numerous flatboats were in commission hauling north-bound 
freight, the boats being taken apart and the lumber sold at the 
end of the trip. 

In 1872-73 the St. Paul & Pacific railroad, which had built a 
line to Breckenridge, constructed a line from Glyndon, on the 
Northern Pacific, extending south to Barnesville and north a 
few miles to Crookston. Then the enterprise lagged, as a result 
of the financial troubles, and nothing more was done for several 
years. In the meantime the Canadian Pacific road was being 
built in detached sections, and the contractor who had charge 
of the building of a division extending east from Winnipeg- 


arranged to have the rails and other supplies shipped over the 
Northern Pacific to Moorhead and thence down the river to 
Winnipeg on flatboats. Large quantities were shipped in this 
way during 1875 and 1876. In 1877, owing to trouble encoun- 
tered during low water in getting over the bar at Goose Rapids, 
arrangements were made with the St. Paul & Pacific road, and a 
spur track was built from Crookston to Fisher's Landing, which 
has since become Fisher, and the rails and other supplies were 
loaded on barges there instead of at Moorhead. The new shipping 
point became the head of navigation for a number of years, a 
large volume of traffic being handled in that way, the steamboats 
also taking Canadian-bound passengers from the railroad at that 
point. Thousands of settlers, both those who located in north- 
western Canada and those stopping in North Dakota, came in by 
way of Fisher's Landing. 

This story at this point makes Grand Forks perhaps unduly 
conspicuous, but the history of the valley during these years 
was mostly made up of events at Grand Forks, at the Fargo and 
Moorhead settlements, and at Pembina, which was then the base 
of the fur trade and of military operations, as well as the customs 
service. Grand Forks at the end of its first five years' existence 
was a town of less than 200 population. (The accompanying 
engraving, made from a sketch by Thomas Lawson in 1874, 
shows, as a matter of fact, all there was of the town, except a 
few scattered log cabins along the timber here and there.) 

The United States land office was opened at Pembina in 1874, 
and during the same year the government land adjacent to Grand 
Forks was opened to settlement. Among the first entries of 
land made in this vicinity were the filings of Alexander Griggs, 
0. S. Freeman, John Fadden, Sr., and J. S. Eshelman. The first 
school in this section was opened in Grand Forks in a log shack 
late in 1874, with Miss Hattie Richmond as teacher. The teacher 
was paid by private contributions. Early in 1875 a school 
building was erected at a cost of $500, and Rev. William Curie, a 
Methodist minister sent here from the Iowa conference, was 
placed in charge. There were not over a dozen pupils at that 
time. "The Grand Forks Plaindealer" was established in July, 


1875, by George H. Walsh, and was for some years published 

The first church building in Grand Forks, and one of the first 
in the territory, except a number of Catholic mission chapels 
established for the Indians earlier, was that of the Methodist 
denomination. It was a small frame building and stood near 
the site of the present Methodist church. The first religious 
service here of which there is a record was held in Captain Alex. 
Griggs ' house, February 11, 1872, by Rev. 0. H. Elmer, in charge 
of the Presbyterian mission at Moorhead. 

During the early seventies, settlers from Iowa, a large pro- 
portion of whom were Scandinavians or of Scandinavian descent, 
began coming into the territory and locating mainly along the 
streams tributary to the Red river, the Goose, Sheyenne and 
others, and beginning operations on a small scale in the way of 
opening farms. So well satisfied were these pioneer settlers, in 
the main, that their neighbors and countrymen whom they had 
left behind profited by their advice and came also in steadily 
increasing numbers. John Lindstrom came from Northwood, 
Iowa, in the fall of 1870, locating at the mouth of the Sheyenne. 
His nearest neighbor was at that time sixteen miles down the 
river. In 1873, with his brother Lars, he located near North- 
wood, in Grand Forks county. Halvor Solem, Nels Korsmo, 
and others located in that vicinity in 1874. In 1876, Peter 
Thinglestad, Hans Thinglestad, Paul Johnson, Andrew Nelson, 
and others, all from the vicinity of Northwood, Iowa, located in 
the vicinity of the present village of Northwood, in this state, 
in 1875 and 1876. These early pioneers hauled the surplus grain 
they raised to Caledonia or Grand Forks for shipment. Ox teams 
were largely the motive power used, and farming under such 
circumstances had its drawbacks. The fertility of the soil asserted 
itself, however, and the further fact that here was an empire of 
the richest soil to be found anywhere, and all ready for the 
plow, awaiting occupation as a gift from Uncle Sam. The effect 
of the financial panic was disappearing, and railroad construc- 
tion towards North Dakota had been commenced again. These 
and other results attracted a large immigration into the terri- 
tory during 1878 and 1879 and the following years. New towns 


and villages came into existence, and the Red River valley, after 
lying dormant, as it were, so long, began to take on new life. 

The St. Paul & Pacific railroad, which had been built from 
St. Paul to Melrose before the panic of 1873, was extended in 

1878 to Barnesville and connection made there with the branch 
extending up the east side of the Red river to St. Vincent. During 
the same year James J. Hill became the general manager. In 

1879 the road was reorganized as the St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Manitoba. The spur which had been extended from Crookston 
to Fisher's Landing was extended to East Grand Forks, and 
during the following winter the river was bridged and Grand 
Forks became connected by rail with the outside world. The 
north line was also extended to St. Vincent, at the international 
boundary line. The line was built south from Grand Forks as 
far as Hillsboro. The Northern Pacific was extended to the 
western boundary of the territory, and other lines were being 
surveyed. In 1880 Fargo and Grand Forks were connected by 
rail, and Hillsboro, Reynolds, Buxton, and other thriving towns 
located between, were growing. The United 'States land office 
was opened in Grand Forks, April 20, 1880, with B. C. Tiffany 
register and W. J. Anderson receiver, and this place became the 
headquarters and fitting-out point for settlers locating to the 
west and north of Grand Forks. In 1881 the work of the exten- 
sion of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba railway west and 
also north from Grand Forks was begun. Settlers were pushing 
out beyond the railroads, however, and more were coming in by 
every train. Fargo and Gand Forks, as well as the younger cities 
of the. valley, were growing rapidly, and new towns were appear- 
ing here and there over the rapidly settling territory. Grand 
Forks was incorporated as a city in 1881, with W. H. Brown 
as the first mayor. The census that year gave the place a popu- 
lation of 1,700. Many of the settlers coming into the valley 
found temporary quarters in the city, and it was almost impos- 
sible to build hotels and boarding-houses fast enough to accom- 
modate the incoming settlers. Large quantities of merchandise 
in the way of settlers' supplies were required, and the business 
of the railroad towns doubled and quadrupled during these years. 

In 1881 the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba road was ex- 


tended northward from Grand Forks to Grafton, and the west 
line was extended to Bartlett, in Nelson county. Still another 
line was extended north from Wahpeton to Larimore, and the 
Northern Pacific built from Casselton north to Mayville. Graf- 
ton, Mayville, Lakota and other towns became supply points, and 
settlers from Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin and 
other states, and from Ontario, came into the valley and pushed 
out into the unoccupied territory. In 1882 the railroad lines were 
extended north to the boundary line at Neche, and west to Devils 
Lake, bringing more thriving towns into existence. 

As the settlement of the valley proceeded, it became notice- 
able that arrivals from different sections were locating in settle- 
ments together to a large extent. In addition to the numerous 
immigrants from Scandinavian countries and from Ontario, which 
were scattered throughout the valley, there might be seen here 
and there groups of settlers coming from widely separated cor- 
ners of the earth. In western Grand Forks county were large 
numbers of farmers from the vicinity of Niagara, New York, and 
naturally North Dakota soon had a Niagara of its own. In west- 
ern Walsh county a large number of settlers from Bohemia 
were found. In eastern Walsh county was a large settlement of 
French. Over in Pembina was a large colony, of settlers from 
Iceland, and in other sections settlements of Germans, Scotch and 
other nationalities were represented. 

S. G. Comstock and A. A. White made an arrangement with 
the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba railway to handle the town 
sites along the extensions, and platted a large number of the 
towns along its various lines. 

Hillsboro, which was platted in 1880, was made the county 
seat of Traill county. In September, 1880, A: H. Morgan and 
James Rogers erected the first store building there, and A. H. 
Morgan and J. E. Paulson were the first to engage in business. 
The place was first named Hill City, in honor of James J. Hill. 

Grafton was platted in 1881 and was named after Grafton, 
N. Y., by Thomas E. Cooper, one of the pioneer settlers of Park 
river. It was made the county seat of Walsh county. The county 
was named after George H. Walsh, who was at that time speaker 
of the house of representatives. 


In 1882 the Northern Pacific and Mr. James J. Hill arrived at 
an understanding as to the territory of the two systems, and as a 
result the Northern Pacific relinquished its branch extending 
north from Casselton and discontinued construction northward 
from Portland in Traill county, and for years Mr. Hill's lines kept 
out of Northern Pacific territory west. 

By the close of 1883 practically all of the arable land in the 
valley had been taken by settlers, and a large part of the terri- 
tory was under cultivation. The surplus of settlers was pouring 
on westward into the upland counties and going out farther and 
farther from the railroad lines. 

The first rush of the claim shanty period over, the settlers 
on the prairie lands set themselves about their chosen occupation 
of farming. The temporary settlers, consisting of clerks and 
mechanics, merchants, teachers, professional men and others, who 
had taken "claims" because of possible quick pecuniary returns 
rather than with any intention of engaging in actual farming 
themselves, relinquished them to others, for a consideration, or 
obtained what money they could in the way of loans, and they 
afterwards fell into the hands of other owners. 

The so-called timber culture law, which was later abolished, 
proved of immense value to the valley as an incentive to the plant- 
ing of trees, and hundreds of settlers who planted five or ten acres 
of trees, at first merely in order to secure title to the land, found 
later that they could not have made a better investment of either 
time or money, and the magnificent groves of timber resulting 
have, in fact, changed the face of the earth, influenced the cli- 
matic conditions, and added literally millions of dollars to the 
value of the lands. 

The farming in the Red River valley during the first twenty 
years of occupation was of a most primitive kind. The use of a 
breaking-plow the first season, and of the cross-plow, the drill, 
the harvester and the threshing machine, in one continual round, 
yielded rich returns of wheat and other cereals. But slight 
attention was paid to other branches of farming, and money 
came easy to the farmers. The small shanties gave place to 
substantial farm-houses, and the temporary stables gave place in 
time to commodious barns and machinery sheds. However, there 


was a perceptible diminution in returns from the early farming 
methods, and gradually the farmers of the valley found it neces- 
sary to take up improved methods of farming and raise stock and 
otherwise diversify their farming in order to secure the best 

The development of the cities and towns of the valley has 
scarcely kept pace with that of the farming interests, although 
there has been a steady growth in this direction, and Grand 
Forks, Fargo, Larimore, Grafton, Hillsboro, Mayville and the 
other principal cities of the valley have within the 'past few 
years taken on metropolitan proportions. The extension of new 
lines of railway out over the valley in every direction have within 
the past few years placed Grand Forks and Fargo at an advan- 
tage as railroad distributing centers, and both have built up a 
large trade with outlying territory. The outlook for the years to 
come in the valley could hardly be brighter than it is today, 
and it will continue, as in the past, to be one of the most pros- 
perous sections of the country. 


The history of a state or nation is that of the people who 
made it a state or a nation. The history of the Red River valley, 
to a very large extent, is that of those pioneers of Dakota who 
settled first in this portion of that state, and whose doings have 
been to some considerable extent chronicled in their own author- 
ized publications. In order that a full history of this important 
society may be preserved, and because of the importance of those 
meetings, we have copied largely from their authorized records, 
and they are as follows : 

The Old Settlers' Association. 

December 27, 1879, about twenty old settlers of Grand Forks 
and vicinity met at McCormack's and Grigg's hall, Grand Forks, 
for. the purpose of organizing an old settlers' association. R. M. 
Probstfield was elected president and George B. Winship secre- 
tary. J. J. Cavanaugh was elected treasurer. The following old 
settlers responded to the call for a contribution of twenty-five 
cents each to pay the expenses incidental to the organization, viz. : 
Alexander Griggs, 0. S. Freeman, W. C. Nash, James Hanrahan, 
James Jenks, Z. B. Hunt, Ed. Williams, D. P. Reeves, Burt Haney, 
R. M. Probstfield, William Blair, Thomas Walsh, C. W. McLaugh- 
lin, William Budge, James McCrea, George Akers, Matt Mc- 
Guiness, N. Hoffman, J. J. Cavanaugh, M. L. McCormack and 
George B. Winship. 

M. L. McCormack, W. C. Nash and Thomas Walsh were 
appointed a committee on arrangements for the meeting for 

A committee was also appointed on invitation for the several 



localities as follows: Grand Forks county, Alex. Griggs, D. P. 
Reeves, Matt McGuiness; Wilkin county, J. R. Harris, D. Mc- 
Cauley, Mr. Phelps ; Clay county, R. M. Probstfield, E. R. Hutch- 
inson, C. P. Slogy; Polk county, James Jenks, E. M. Walsh and 
John Ireland; Kittson and Marshall counties, F. Brawley, J. W. 
Stewart, A. W. Stiles ; Pembina county, Charles Cavalier, William 
Budge and N. E. Nelson ; Traill county, A. Sargeant, C. M. Clark, 
George Weston; Cass county, J. B. Chapin, Jacob Lowell, Jr., and 
George Egbert; Richland county, M. T. Rich and two others to 
be named. February 4 next was fixed as date of meeting for 
organization. At that meeting the following were elected officers 
of the association, viz. : President, R. M. Probstfield ; vice presi- 
dents, Asa Sargeant, of Traill, N. E. Nelson, of Pembina, and J. R. 
Harris, of Wilkin; secretary and treasurer, George B. Winship, 
of Grand Forks ; executive committee, Frank Veits, J. S. Eshel- 
man and M. L. McCormack, of Grand Forks. 

Letters were read from J. J. Hill, General H. H. Silbey, ex- 
Senator H. M. Rice and N. W. Kittson, of St. Paul. W. G. Wood- 
ruff, M. L. McCormack and J. S. Eshelman were appointed a 
committee on by-laws. 

The following members paid the membership fee of $1, viz. : 
W. C. Nash, John Fadden, E. Williams, R. Fadden, Joseph Hanra- 
han, George Akers, Z. B. Hunt, William Fleming, George Ames, 
George B. Winship, Alex. Griggs, Jacob Rheinhart, William 
Budge, R. Coulter, L. Surprise, M. Flarry, N. Hoffman, J. Jenks, 
M. L. McCormack, F. Veits, J. S. Eshelman. 

December, 1881, the old settlers again met in the court house 
at Grand Forks, and the following answered to the roll call : Burt 
Haney, John Fadden, D. F. Brawley, H. R. Vaughn, Richmond 
Fadden, Edward Williams, James Jenks, W. P. Blair, J. Green- 
wood, George H. Ames, Nick Hoffman, Z. M. Hunt, Thomas 
Walsh, Michael McGuinness, Joseph Hanrahan, William Budge, 
M. L. McCormack, 0. S. Freeman, W. C. Nash, George W. Akers, 
Frank Veits, George B. Winship, Michael Ferry, John Island, 
Leon Surprise, J. S. Eshelman, Robert Coulter, Alex. Griggs, 
R. M. Probstfield. E. R. Hutchinson. The following officers were 
elected: President, D. F. Brawley, St. Vincent; vice-president, 
Howard R. Vaughn, Pembina ; second vice-president, Alex. Griggs, 


Grand Forks; third vice-president, James Holes, of Cass; secre- 
tary, George B. Winship, Grand Forks; executive committee, 
Charles Cavalier, N. E. Nelson and Judson La Moure. It was 
voted that all who settled in the Eed Eiver valley prior to Sep- 
tember 1, 1873, should be eligible to membership. 

A later meeting was held at Pembina, probably in 1882. At 
this meeting the following were present : Hugh 'Donnell, Charles 
J. Brown, A. Carl, A. Watson, Alex. Griggs, S. W. Ferry, Charles 
Crawford, 0. S. Freeman, Eobert E. Ewing, M. L. McCormack, 
A. C. McCumber, H. E. Vaughan, S. C. Cady, Jacob Eheinhart, 
Charles Cavalier, W. J. S. Traill, A. W. Stiles, William Camp, 
E. Armstrong, George B. Winship, Burt Haney, Frank Myrick, 
Captain Aymo, Judson La Moure, N. E. Nelson, Norman Gingras, 
Andrew T. Nelson, Thomas Walsh, D. F. Brawley, John Fadden 
and F. T. Bradley. At this meeting Bradley was elected presi- 
dent, and E. Fadden, N. E. Nelson and J. B. Chapin vice-presi- 
dents. J. F. Termant, of West Lynn, was elected secretary and 
G. B. Winship treasurer. This organization was allowed to lapse, 
and ten years later, viz., December 10, 1891, the society met again 
at Grand Forks for organization. George B. Winship called the 
meeting to order; D. M. Holmes was secretary. N. K. Hubbard, 
Frank Veits, Charles Cavalier, 0. H. Elmer and John Erickson 
were appointed a committee on permanent organization. They 
reported a plan of organization and that all settlers in the valley 
prior to December 31, 1875, should be eligible to membership. 
Vice presidents were to be elected from each of the Eed Eiver 
valley counties, as follows: Pembina, Charles Cavalier, Traill, 
Asa Sargeant ; Cass, Jacob Lowell ; Eichland, Hans Myhra ; Polk, 
0. H. Elmer ; Clay, John Erickson ; Wilkin, Daniel McCauley. 

There was no meeting of the association for ten years, when 
they again met at Grand Forks for the purpose of reorganization, 
December 10, 1891, George B. Winship being elected president 
and D. M. Holmes secretary. N. K. Hubbard, 0. H. Elmer, John 
Erickson, Frank Veits and Charles Cavalier were appointed a 
committee on permanent organization. 

This committee limited membership to those who settled in 
the Eed Eiver valley prior to December 31, 1875. Charles Cava- 
lier, of Pembina; A. Sargeant, of Traill; Jacob Lowell, of Cass; 


Hans Myhra, of Richland ; 0. H. Elmer, of Polk ; John Erickson, 
of Clay, and David McCauley, of Wilkin, were elected vice- 
presidents. J. W. Taylor, Robert Patterson, W. G. Fonseca, and 
E. L. Barber, of Manitoba, were elected honorary members. The 
membership fee was fixed at $2 and the receipts were, for mem- 
bership, $102; from the old association, $32, and from banquet 
tickets for invited guests, $25. The local committee turned into 
the treasury the sum of $24.75. The banquet at the Dakotah hotel 
cost $84, the music for the hall, $50, and printing and other 
expenses consumed the balance. 

Those present were George B. Winship, D. M. Holmes, J. B. 
Chapin, Jacob Lowell, N. E. Nelson, Robert Ewing, H. R. Vaughn, 
Richmond Fadden, P. P. Nokken, H. C. Myhra, Asa Sargeant, 
P. S. Kelly, Halvor Thoraldson, E. M. Walsh, "W. H. Moorhead, 
M. D. Campbell, George A. Wheeler, Thomas Campbell, Edward 
O'Brien, James A. Jenks, N. K. Hubbard, Z. M. Hunt, J. G. 
Hamilton, John W. W. Smith, Thomas Walsh, W. H. Brown, 
Michael Ferry, George H. Walsh, James Duckworth, William 
Camp, Frank Veits, Joseph Jarvis, Casper Mosher, George H. 
Fadden, John Erickson, C. Cavalier, John N. Harvey, James Elton, 
0. H. Elmer, J. T. Taylor, R. Patterson, Ed. Williams, George A. 
Wheeler, Jr., B. Haggerty, James K. Swan, W. J. Anderson, John 
0. Fadden, G. G. Beardsley, Philip McLaughlin, George E. Jack- 
son, Walter J. S. Traill, Judson La Moure, John Kabernagle. 

At the Moorhead meeting, December 7, 1892, there was a 
goodly number present, but the records do not show who partici- 
pated. The receipts for membership fees, however, were $48. 
George B. Winship was elected president; N. K. Hubbard (Cass), 
John Herrick (Richland), James Nolan (Wilkin), Asa Sargeant 
(Traill), 0. H. Elmer (Polk), and Charles Cavalier (Pembina), 
vice-presidents. Ransom Phelps was elected local secretary and 
Breckenridge was chosen as the next place of meeting. Mrs. J. S. 
Harris was appointed to procure certain manuscripts in the hands 
of Dr. Harvey relating to the early history of the Red River 

At the Breckenridge meeting, December 6, 1893, George B. 
Winship, Grand Forks; Job and Frank Herrick, Abercrombie; 
James Nolan, McCauleyville ; John Erickson, Moorhead ; H. C. N. 


Myhra, Kongberg; N. D. and Frank J. Smith, Breckenridge. 
answered to the call of the roll. Twenty old settlers responded 
to the invitation to join the society, their names and date of 
settlement being as follows : 

Frank Doleshy, Wahpeton, 1873; Folsom Dow, Wahpeton, 
1871; Benjamin Taylor, Wahpeton, 1872; Samuel Taylor, Wah- 
peton, 1872; Frank Forneck, Wahpeton, 1871; Wenzel Meck- 
nesh, Wahpeton, 1872; August Horfs, Hankinson, 1874; Charles 
Bladow, Hinkinson, 1874; Frederick Hoefs, Hinkinson, 1874; 
August Berntd, Hankinson, 1874; Eric A. Lein, Dwight, 1875; 
John Myhra, Dwight, 1870; Edward Connelly, Breckenridge, 
Minn., 1858; Edward R. Hyser, Breckenridge, Minn., 1871; 
D. Wilmot Smith, Breckenridge, Minn., 1871; Peter Hansen, 
Breckenridge, Minn., 1871; Aaron B. Lichter, Breckenridge, 
Minn., 187- ; Hans Martinson, Rothsay, Minn., 1871; Anthony 
Nolan, Brainerd, 1867. 

The following gentlemen were elected honorary members : 
T. E. Kenestow, 1885; E. Mattison, 1879; Joseph Gunn, 1882; 
Henry Champion, 1878, all Breckenridge; and William W. Tag- 
gart, Campbell, 1878, and George McKee, Campbell, 1879 ; William 
M. James, editor "Telegram," Breckenridge, 1882; Fred Falley, 
editor "Globe," Wahpeton, and H. M. Morrill, editor "Gazette," 
Wahpeton, and Frank J. Smith, Breckenridge. 

The following officers were elected: President, Edward Con- 
nelly, Breckenridge; vice-presidents, W. W. Bodkin (Clay), B. 
Sampson (Polk), Charles Cavalier (Pembina), Frank Veits 
(Grand Forks), Asa Sargeant (Traill), N. K. Hubbard (Cass), 
Folsom Dow (Richland) ; secretary, Frank J. Smith, Brecken- 
ridge; treasurer, John Erickson, Moorhead. Fargo was selected 
as the next place of meeting. Resolutions of condolence were 
offered on account of the death of James R. Harris and John W. 
Taylor. After paying all debts, the society voted $10.50 remain- 
ing in tHe treasury to the Ladies' Aid Society, which had provided 
the banquet. 

At the Fargo meeting, December 6, 1894, the attendance 
was large and twenty new members were added, viz. : N. B. 
Pinkham, S. F. Crockett, C. B. Thiemens, D. E. Herrick, John E. 
Haggart, G. A. Barnes, Arthur Bassett, H. G. Stordock, S. G. 



Roberts, Joseph Prevost, C. A. Lounsberry, Frank Whitman, 
Evan S. Tyler, Alex. Gamble, Edwin Griffin, W. H. White, A. H. 
Morgan, William O'Neill, Martin Hector, A. G. Lewis, G. J. 
Keeney. The following old members were present and paid their 
dues: James Holes, Jacob Lowell, Harry O'Neill, G. B. Win- 
ship, A. McHench, W. H. Brown, E. R. Hutchinson, Job Herrick, 
Frank Herrick, P. Kelly, Frank Veits, Jacob Rheinhart, W. J. 
Anderson, J. A. Jenks, James Nolan, James Elton, R. M. Probst- 
field, J. H. Shard, F. J. Smith, S. G. Comstock. 

The following officers were elected: N. K. Hubbard, Cass, 
president ; vice-presidents, R. M. Probstfield (Clay), Charles 
Cavalier (Pembina), W. C. Nash (Polk), George B. Winship 
(Grand Forks), C. W. Morgan (Traill), James Holes (Cass), 
Frank Herrick (Richland), Edwin Connelly (Wilkin) ; secretary, 
B. F. Mackall, Moorhead ; treasurer, Will H. White, Fargo. C. A. 
Lounsberry, S. G. Roberts, George B. Winship, S. F. Crockett, 
E. S. Tyler, Charles Cavalier and David McCauley were appointed 
an historical committee to gather data and facts in regard to the 
early settlement and history of the Red River valley. 

S. G. Comstock, S. G. Roberts and A. McHench were appointed 
a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws. 

A banquet was given in the evening at the Hotel Metropole, 
an elaborate program having been provided. The principal ad- 
dresses were by Hon. S. G. Comstock, Hon. R. M. Probstfield, 
George B. Winship and G. J. Keeney. It was voted to hold the 
next meeting at Grand Forks. Since this meeting H. G. Stordock 
and James A. Jenks have passed away. 

The register of the old settlers shows the names, date and 
place of settlement of those who are or who have been members 
of the society. 

The association met at Grand Forks, December 26, 1895, 
George B. Winship presiding in the absence of President Hub- 
bard, on account of illness. President Hubbard 's address was 
read by Colonel C. A. Lounsberry. Those present were H. E. 
Maloney, James Colosky, C. F. Getchell, James Twamley, C. L. 
Gordon, Jorgen Howard, Frank Williams, Robert Anderson, C. W. 
Morgan, D. Perkins, A. Barlow, F. A. Wardell, J. E. Sullivan, 
A. H. Barlow, James Nesbitt, D. McDonald, James Smith, John 


Kinan, William Skinner, Gus Williams, Thomas McVitre, 0. 
Osmond and Christopher R. Coulter. 

Colonel Lounsberry, from the historical committee, reported 
the work done by his committee, which included the establish- 
ment of "The Record" for the purpose of gathering historical 
data, and was accorded a vote of thanks. The names of H. G. 
Stordock, James A. Jenks and John Island were entered on the 
death roll and suitable resolutions of respect and condolence 

The following officers were elected : President, Frank Veits ; 
vice-presidents, W. H. Moorhead, Pat Kelly, Jacob Rheinhart, 

E. R. Hutchinson, Robert Coulter, James Nolan, Job Herrick; 
treasurer, D. M. Holmes; secretary, George B. Winship. 

Those who settled in the Red River valley prior to December 
31, 1877. were voted eligible to membership. 

The sixth annual meeting of the reorganized association was 
held at Pembina, December 18, 1896. The following members 
were present : W. H. Brown, Judson La Moure, Joseph Colosky, 
C. A. Lounsberry, John Hater, E. K. Cavalier, Charles Cavalier, 
John Otten, James Carpenter, Frank Russell, George Allard, 

F. A. Hart, Joseph Desloria, Andrew Cragin, Peter Hogan, Milo 
Fadden, H. E. Maloney, Frank Myrick, George B. Winship, Joe 
Parent, W. H. Moorhead, Fred Delisle, Joseph Morin, W. J. 
Kneeshaw, Thomas J. Neilson, Bradne Johnson, John Hogan, 
F. A. Wardwell. 

It was ordered that all persons who settled in the Red River 
valley prior to July 1, 1879, should be eligible to membership, 
and that a permanent secretary should be elected. The secretary, 
president, and George B. Winship were appointed a committee 
on constitution and by-laws and were directed to take whatever 
steps were necessary to secure the incorporation of the association 
under the laws of North Dakota. 

Frank Veits was elected president; W. H. Moorhead, G. S. 
Barnes, James Carpenter, Pat Kelly, E. R. Hutchinson, Robert 
Coulter, James Nolan and Job Herrick, vice-presidents; D. M. 
Holmes, treasurer, and C. A. Lounsberry, secretary. 

The association was finally incorporated by the action of the 


seventh annual meeting, of which the proceedings are herewith 

The seventh annual session of the Old Settlers' Association 
of the Red River Valley was held at Grand Forks, N. D., Septem- 
ber 29, 1897, the opening meeting being held at the court house. 
There were over a hundred pioneers in attendance and the meet- 
ing was a most enjoyable one. At noon an elaborate spread was 
served at the Ingalls, Mrs. Maloney in charge. 

After reading the minutes of the last regular meeting they 
were approved. 

C. A. Lounsberry, from the committee on articles of associa- 
tion and by-laws, reported the draft of the articles and by-laws, 
which were adopted ; and the president, secretary, treasurer, and 
three vice-presidents, later selected for the purpose, were directed 
to cause the articles of association to be properly executed and 
filed with the secretary of state. 

James K. Swan, of Grand Forks, was elected president for 
the ensuing year upon the unanimous vote of the association. 

D. M. Holmes, of Grand Forks, was re-elected treasurer for 
the ensuing year. 

James Nolan, of Wilkin county, Thomas McCoy, Traill county, 
and James Carpenter, Walsh county, were elected vice-presidents 
for their respective counties and designated to sign the articles 
of association in connection with the president, secretary and 

Joseph E. Cronan (Cass), George E. McCrea (Pembina), 
William Skinner (Polk), Job Herrick (Richland), W. J. Bodkin 
(Clay), and E. E. Corliss (Otter Tail county), were elected vice- 
presidents for their respective counties. 

The secretary was directed to draft and cause to be pub- 
lished suitable memorials of the old settlers who have passed 
away during the past year. 

Upon motion of P. McLaughlin, a vote of thanks was tendered 
to Hon. Frank Veits, the retiring president, and to other officers 
for their services. 

J. K. Swan, president-elect, was introduced, making suitable 


Mrs. Charles Cavalier and Miss Lulah Cavalier were elected 
honorary members of the association. 

Letters were read from R. C. Burdick, of St. Paul, a settler of 
1853, and Charles Cavalier, Pembina, a settler of 1851, and a 
telegram from M. H. Morrill, expressing regret at their inability 
to be present. 

The register showed the following in attendance, and their 
date of settlement : 

Hugh Parr, Kelly's Point, 1876; James O'Reiley, Grand Forks, 
1879: Donald Stewart, Forest River, 1878; Alexander Oldham, 
Grand Forks, 1877; H. H. Strom, Traill county, 1878; C. 0. 
Maloney, Grand Forks, 1875; John Swift, Grand Forks, 1874; 
William Code, Park River, 1878 ; James Pette, Grand Forks, 1878 ; 
M. C. Gaulke, Grand Forks, 1878; Thomas Nisbet, Mallory, Minn., 
1878; William H. Standish, Polk county, Minnesota, 1879; Louis 
A. Lhiver, Grand Forks, 1878 ; M. Addison, Grand Forks, 1879 ; 
H. D. Cutler, Grand Forks, 1879 ;'H. Arnegaard, Hillsboro, 1871; 
M. D. Chappell, Grand Forks, 1873; L. M. Anderson, Pembina, 
1872; M. L. Enright, East Grand Forks, 1872; Peter Gannau, 
Frog Point, 1871; H. P. Ryan/Grand Forks, 1878; George F. 
Whitcomb, Fort Abercrombie, 1865; C. A. Lounsberry, Fargo, 
April 4, 1873 ; George J. Longfellow, Fargo, 1879 ; William Acker- 
man, Abercrombie, 1866 ; John 'Leary, Grand Forks, 1878 ; 
Michael Byrne, Grand Forks, 1877 ; Thomas Gray, Grand Forks, 
1875 ; Thomas McCoy, Forest River, 1877 ; D. J. Lemery, Forest 
River, 1878; J. P. Walsh, Grandin, 1878; Henry Gotzian, Grand 
Forks, 1879; Michael Maguire, East Grand Forks, 1878; A. L. 
McCallum, Fisher, 1879; Peter Stoughton, Grand Forks, 1877; 
J. E. Cronan, Walsh county, 1872; George A. McCrea, Drayton, 
1879; John 0. Fadden, Grand Forks, 1873; John Fadden, Sr., 
Grand Forks, 1873; A. W. Edwards, Fargo, 1878; Richmond 
Fadden, Grand Forks, 1873; Joe Laport, Larimore, 1873; E. E. 
Corliss, Fergus Falls, 1870; Captain George C. Whitcomb, Pem- 
bina, 1863; Samuel Berg, Ojata, 1872; William Cook, Pembina, 
1877 ; August Nelson, East Grand Forks, 1877 ; William Fletcher, 
Grandin, 1878; John Rea, East Grand Forks, 1872; M. J. Moran, 
Grand Forks, 1878; M. L. Adams, Grand Forks, 1879; C. A. Allen, 
Grand Forks, 1878 ; Fred Freeman, Thompson, 1878 ; Thomas L. 



Lawson, Jr., Grand Forks, 1879; John McDonald, Fargo, 1871; 
George A. Glenn, Winnipeg, 1873 ; George B. Winship, Aber- 
crombie, 1867; Job Herrick, Abercrombie, 1868; P. McLaughlin, 
Fargo, 1874 ; James Duckworth, Grand Forks, 1875 ; A. H. Barlow, 
Grand Forks, 1876 ; J. G. Hamilton, Sisseton agency, 1875 ; Robert 
Anderson, Grand Forks, 1874; J. M. Stoughton, Turtle Eiver, 
1876; Joseph A. Barlow, Grand Forks, 1876; William Skinner, 
Clay county, Minnesota, 1878; M. J. Fadden, Grand Forks, 1871; 
Thomas Walsh, Grand Forks, 1871; J. E. Sullivan, East Grand 
Forks, 1875; James Nolan, McCauleyville, 1865 ; D. McDonald, 
Grand Forks, 1878; D. M. Holmes, Grand Forks, 1871; James 
Carpenter, Forest River, 1878; William H. Brown, Grand Forks, 
1877; George H. Walsh, Grand Forks, 187*5; James Twamley, 
Grand Forks, 1876 ; James K. Swan, Grand Forks, 1874 ; Joseph 
Jarvis, Fisher, 1872; James Elton, Georgetown, 1875; John Har- 
vey, Grand Forks, 1874 ; Robert Coulter, Mallory, 1871 ; John 0. 
Fadden, Sr., Grand Forks, 1871 ; Frank Veits, Georgetown, 1870 ; 
Mrs. Frank Veits, Georgetown, 1870; W. J. Anderson, Grand 
Forks, 1875 ; Albert Schmidt, Wilkin county, 1869 ; P. P. Chacey, 
Fargo, 1877; John Cole, Grand Forks, 1878; E. K. Cavalier, 
native, Kildonan, 1858; James H. Mathews, Grand Forks, 1878; 
Ruth J. Chacey, Fargo, 1877 ; John McDonald, Forest River, 1878 ; 
John R. Woods, Forest River, 1879 ; Louis Stillmaker, Grand 
Forks, 1879; F. A. Hart, Pembina, 1879; Thomas Knox, Elm 
River, 1878; Gunder Howard, Moorhead, 1872. Mrs. Frank 
Veits, 1870, and Captain Whitcomb, a settler of 1863, were ad- 
mitted to honorary membership. 

Articles of incorporation of the Old Settlers' Association were 
drawn up in 1897 and are as follows : 

Article I. This corporation shall be known as the Red River 
Valley Old Settlers' Association, and is incorporated under Sec. 
3183, Revised Codes of North Dakota. 

Article II. The general offices of this association shall be at 

Article III. This association shall exist for a period of forty 

Article IV. The number of directors of this association shall 


be eleven, but the following shall constitute a first board of 
directors and shall execute these articles : 

President James K. Swan, Grand Forks, N. D. Vice Presi- 
dents James Nolan, Wilkin county, Minnesota ; Thomas McCoy, 
Traill county, North Dakota; James Carpenter, Walsh county, 
North Dakota. Secretary C. A. Lounsberry, Fargo, N. D. Treas- 
urer D. M. Holmes, Grand Forks, N. D. 

Article V. This association may become subordinate to a 
state organization of old settlers; and associations subordinate 
to this may be organized in each of the Red River Valley counties 
in Minnesota and North Dakota, having purposes in harmony 
with this organization. 

Article VI. This association may hold real and personal 
property not exceeding in value $10,000. It may receive bequests 
for the purpose of establishing an historical and biographical 
library, for preserving its records, publishing its proceedings, 
biographical sketches, etc. When dissolved its property shall 
be turned over to the state for historical and library purposes. 

Article VII. The private property of the members of this 
association shall not be liable for its debts. 

In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and 
seals this 29th day of September, 1897. 

James K. Swan, [Seal] 

James Nolan, [Seal] 

Thomas McCoy, [Seal] 

James Carpenter, [Seal] 
C. A. Lounsberry. [Seal] 


County of Grand Forks, 

On this 29th day of September, 1897, personally appeared 
before me James K. Swan, James Nolan, Thomas McCoy, James 
Carpenter, C. A. Lounsberry and D. M. Holmes, who, being duly 
sworn, doth each for himself say that he is an officer and director 
of the Red River Valley Old Settlers ' Association, and that these 
articles of association are executed in accordance with a majority 
vote had at a regularly called meeting of said association held 



at Pembina, N. D., December 18, 1896, and that a regularly called 
meeting of said association held at Grand Forks, September 29, 
1897, by a majority vote they were especially designated to sign 
and file said articles of association. J. G. Hamilton, 

Notary Public, Grand Forks County, 

North Dakota. 

By-Laws of the Red River Valley Old Settlers' Association. 

Section I. The officers of this association shall be a president, 
vice president from each county in the Red River Valley in Min- 
nesota and North Dakota, excepting the county from which the 
president may be elected, a secretary and treasurer. The officers 
excepting the secretary shall be elected annually r but shall hold 
until their successors are elected. The secretary shall be elected 
for a term of six years and the first secretary shall be Colonel 
Clement A. Lounsberry, who was made permanent secretary by 
the meeting which ordered this incorporation, at Pembina, De- 
cember 18, 1896. The secretary may appoint a deputy to act in 
case of his absence. Officers shall be elected by ballot at the 
annual meetings in June or September, and a majority of mem- 
bers shall elect. 

Sec. II. The annual meetings of this association shall be 
held in the city of Grand Forks at such time in June or Septem- 
ber as the executive committee consisting of the president, secre- 
tary, treasurer and two vice presidents, or a majority thereof, 
may direct, unless otherwise ordered by a majority vote at the 
annual meeting preceding, or by a majority of all of the directors 
at a meeting of which thirty days' notice of time and place shall 
be given by publication, in Fargo and Grand Forks daily papers. 

The annual meeting of the directors shall be at the general 
office in Fargo on the first Tuesday in May of each year. 

Sec. III. In addition to the directors named in the articles 
of association the following shall be vice presidents and directors, 
completing the first board of directors, viz. : 

Joseph E. Cronan, Cass county, North Dakota. 

George E. McCrea, Pembina county, North Dakota. 

William Skinner, Polk county, Minnesota. 


Job Herrick, Richland county, North Dakota. 

W. J. Bodkin, Clay county, Minnesota. 

Sec. IV. Vacancies in the board of directors or officers may 
be filled by appointment at any regular or called meeting of the 
board of directors. Any officer may be removed for neglect of 
duty by a majority vote of the directors at any regular or called 

Sec. V. The president, secretary, treasurer and two vice 
presidents shall constitute a quorum of executive committee, and 
five shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the board of 
directors. Any officer or vice president may in writing designate 
any member of this association to act in his stead at any regular 
or called meeting of the executive committee or board of directors. 

Sec. VI. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at 
all meetings of the association, or of the board of directors or 
executive committee. He may designate any vice president to 
act in his stead in case of his absence. He shall countersign all 
warrants drawn upon the treasurer. It shall be the duty of the 
vice presidents to attend all regular or called meetings of the 
directors and to labor to promote the general interests of the 
association in their respective counties. They may organize the 
qualified settlers in their respective counties into an association 
subordinate to this and cause their names to be enrolled upon the 
register of this society upon payment of the required fee, the 
necessary data being supplied. They shall receive and forward 
names and fee to the secretary of all who apply to them for this 

The treasurer shall receive all funds from the hands of the 
secretary and when requested so to do from members of the 
association on account of registration and dues, mailing a dupli- 
cate receipt therefor to the secretary in order that proper ac- 
counts may be kept with the members. He shall pay out the 
funds upon the order of the Secretary, countersigned by the 
president, as may be ordered from time to time by the executive 
committee, the board of directors or tjie association in annual 
convention. He shall make annual report for each fiscal year 
ending May 30. 

The secretary shall keep the records of the association and 


the minutes of all meetings of the association, directors or execu- 
tive committee. He shall publish the proceedings together with 
biographical sketches of the members who have died during the 
preceding year, with portraits where possible, and such other 
sketches as may be deemed of interest, provided that no expense 
which the annual dues and registration fees or other funds in 
the hands of the secretary or treasurer or dues or fees to be paid 
will not liquidate. He shall make semi-annual report closing 
on the last day of January and July of each year, and supple- 
mental report for the months intervening between his last report 
and the time of the annual meeting, for the information of the 
association in annual convention. Pie shall receive and receipt 
for the registration fees from joining members and for dues and 
pay the same over to the treasurer. He shall issue a certificate 
of membership to each of those who have heretofore paid the 
membership fee and enroll their names in substantial form upon 
the permanent rolls of this association. 

Sec. VII. Any person who was a settler in the Red River 
Valley prior to July 1, 1879, shall be entitled to membership in 
the Red River Valley Old Settlers' Association upon payment of 
$1 registration or joining fee, provided that those who have here- 
tofore paid a membership fee in the Red River Valley Old Set- 
tlers' Association shall be registered as members upon furnishing 
the secretary data as to their date of settlement, where settled, 
present residence, date and place of birth, and occupation. The 
annual dues shall be 50 cents, payable on or before the time of 
annual meeting. Members in arrears for dues shall not be enti- 
tled to vote or to receive copies of the published proceedings or 
other publications issued by this association. The registration 
fee shall cover the dues for that year. Persons who settled in 
the Red River Valley prior to June 30, 1869, shall be enrolled 
as honorary members if they so desire, and when so enrolled shall 
be exempt from dues and from the registration fee. Wives and 
daughters of old settlers, if born prior to July 1, 1879, may be 
enrolled as honorary members, the necessary data for such enroll- 
ment being furnished the secretary. 

Sec. VIII. The order of business at the annual meeting shall 
be as follows : 


Registration of new members, and payment of dues, the books 
being opened for that purpose one hour before the time set 
for the meeting. 

Call to order. 

Reading the names of those who have registered upon joining 
or the payment of dues. 

Reading minutes of the last meeting. 

Death roll of the previous year. 

Reports of secretary and treasurer. 

Annual address of president. 

Reading papers and communications from absent members. 

Motions and resolutions. 

New business. 

Election of officers. 

Installation of officers. 


Banquet. Five minute addresses. Good-bye. 

Adopted at annual meeting September 29, 1897. 

Official Minutes. 

The annual reunion of the old settlers of the Red River Valley 
held in Park River, N, D., Tuesday and Wednesday, June 12 and 
13, 1900, was a merry and a most enjoyable one. The town was 
theirs and they were justified in anticipating a cordial reception. 
They were together for two days. Nearly every one of the Red 
river pioneers had at one time lived in a sod shanty, and begin- 
ning life at that stage of prosperity they had grown as they 
progressed to be men of appreciative and grateful natures and 
that is what they are. 

The citizens commenced decorating the business places and 
residences early Tuesday morning, and by the time the south 
train arrived the town presented an appearance of a Fourth of 
July celebration, lacking only in the noise of bombs and firearms. 
The band met the settlers at the train and escorted them up 
town. The forenoon was devoted to shaking hands and arrang- 
ing for the entertainment of the visitors. About sixty were 
present at the business meeting of the association in the 


Business Meeting First Day. 

The annual business meeting of the Red River Valley Old 
Settlers ' Association was held in the Masonic hall at 1 :30 p. m. 
In the absence of President Mager, James Twamley, of Grand 
Forks, was elected chairman, Secretary Col. C. A. Lounsberry, of 
Fargo, being present. 

The minutes of the last meeting were approved. 

The following members joined the association here and paid 
their dues : 

N. 0. Clemetson, Dundee. 

Mons Monson, Grafton. 

John T. N Daley, Mandt. 

Benjamin Code, D. F. Booth, Joseph Coulter, Archie C. Thomp- 
son, Ropert Coulter, Inkerman Davis, Sandy A. Bruce, J. Morley 
Wyard, James F. Smith, Robert Arnott, James E. Code, Thomas 
Wadge, John Holmes, William E. Wadge, George Dobmeier, 
George M. Bruce, H. I. Heterington, L. S. Carruth, Park River. 

James Gilby, Grand Forks. 

Ole G. Manderud, A. 0. Mandt, A. I. Anderson, Mandt. 

Oscar C. Clemetson, Henry Clemetson, Dundee. 

H. J. Hagen, Abercrombie. 

Nels M. Midgarden, Claus A. Dahl, Nash. 

John Woods, Forest River. 

Patrick Berrigan, Ardoch. 

A. H. Walker, Hoople. 

Gunder Midgarden, Grafton. 

The following members are reported as having paid the 
annual dues: 

J. A. Delaney, Grafton. 

James Twamley, George B. Winship, W. J. Anderson, Thomas 
Nesbit, James Elton, Grand Forks. 

Col. C. A. Lounsberry, Fargo. 

A. Code, W. Code, G. K. McEwan, John Wadge, Park River. 

Albert Schmidt, Abercrombie. 

James T. Carpenter, James Carpenter, Forest River. 

Peter Stoughton, Stoughton. 

J. E. Sullivan, East Grand Forks. 

Total receipts, $55.00. 


The secretary reported that he had secured the certificate 
of incorporation of the Red River Valley Old Settlers' Associa- 
tion, as directed by the meeting at Grand Forks in 1898. 

The deaths of old settlers reported were: Alex Oldham, 
Grand Forks, and Francis Thomas, Pembina. 

President Twamley was requested to prepare a memorial to 
be inserted in the minutes of this meeting in memory of Alex 
Oldham and a sketch of Francis Thomas by Charles Cavalier 
was ordered printed in the minutes. 

Letters were presented and read from J. F. Mager, C. W. 
Andrews, Charles Cavalier and J. C. Kennedy. 

President Twamley reported the action taken in the matter 
of the adoption of an insignia for the society and it was ordered 
that the old log cabin of Hon. Charles Cavalier be adopted as 
such, and that the secretary procure 100 or more badges bearing 
this insignia and 100 or more buttons for the next meeting. 

Upon a suggestion of Peter Stoughton the members were 
urged to make report to the secretary, C. A. Lounsberry, Fargo, 
upon the occasion of the death of any member of the association, 
giving data necessary for a suitable memorial to be carried into 
the records. 

Thomas Bolton, a settler of 1881, requested the privilege of 
speaking, he not being eligible to membership. He called atten- 
tion to the fact that many new settlements and towns, including 
Grafton, were established in 1881 and urged the association to 
so amend its by-laws as to make the settlers of '81 eligible. . 

An amendment to the constitution and by-laws was adopted 
whereby all settlers in the valley prior to December 31, 1881, 
were made eligible to membership. 

This motion was followed by adding to the list the following 
new members : 

Thomas Bolton, Robert Stewart, D. E. Towle, E. Reeve Clax- 
ton, John A. McCombs, H. A. Pomranke, Michael Hylden, J. J. 
Irwin, Park River. 

The officers elected for the ensuing year were: 

President James Twamley, Grand Forks. 

Vice Presidents Charles Cavalier, Pembina county, North 



John E. Haggart, Cass county, North Dakota. 

James E. Sullivan, Polk county, Minnesota, 

Albert Schmidt, Riehland county, North Dakota. 

S. G. Comstock, Clay county, Minnesota. 

D. McCauley, Wilkin county, Minnesota. 

H. H. Strom, Traill county, North Dakota. 

James Carpenter, Walsh county, North Dakota. 

Treasurer J. Morley Wyard. 

The secretary announced the appointment of J. Morley 
Wyard as assistant secretary for the ensuing year and requested 
members to pay their dues to him in order to provide means for 
printing proceedings of the association. 

The plans for holding the eleventh annual meeting being under 
discussion, J. A. Delaney moved that the said meeting be held 
at Grafton in June, 1901. Albert Schmidt moved to amend by 
striking out Grafton and inserting Wahpeton. The amendment 
was lost by ID ayes and 24 noes, and Grafton was chosen the 
next place of meeting, the date in June to be selected by the 
executive committee. 

The following bills were allowed : 

C. A. Lounsberry $ 5.75 

Charles H. Lee 16.00 

The following honorary members were admitted to the asso- 
ciation : 

Mesdames George Dobmeier, E. Reeve Claxton, T. Bolton, 
Michael Hylden, Albert Schmidt, Andrew Walker, John T. Daley, 
A. I. Anderson, Archie Thompson, J. A. Delaney, Joseph Coulter, 
James Twamley, Anna McGlinch, Robert Stewart, D. E. Towley, 
L. S. Carruth, J. J. Irwin, G. B. Winship, Nels Midgarden, Ole 
G. Manderud, John Holmes, Robert Arnott, James Carpenter, 
C. A. Lounsberry, M. Halliday, J. J. Smith, J. E. Sullivan, John 
Woods, H. J. Hagen, William Code, E. R. Swarthout, Thomas 
Wadge, Benjamin Code, Raymond G. Anderson, N. 0. Clemetson, 
Peter Stoughton, George Stead, H. T. Hetherington, A. E. Wadge, 
John Wadge, E. Townsend, F. T. Waugh, Harry A. Holmes, 
Misses Anna Daley, Ella and Alma Daley, Ida Anderson, Anna 
Carpenter, Edna Twamley, Lila and Blanch McGlinch, Mabel 


Booth, Jennie Woods, Maude McEwan, Elizabeth Code, Maggie 
Code, Agnes Brown, Virginia Anderson, Galena Clemetson, 
Caroline Clemetson. 

At 4:30 p. m. the settlers assembled in the park, where an 
address of welcome was delivered by Rev. Strachan, who offered 
the freedom of the city to the visitors. Mr. James Twamley 
responded on behalf of the old settlers and thanked the citizens 
for the elaborate preparations made for their entertainment. 
Following this was a banquet given in the opera house. This 
was a luxurious affair. There were numerous toasts and re- 
sponses and several vocal solos and recitations. There were 
many amusing and interesting incidents related. Every number 
on the programme was heartily applauded. The following is the 
programme and song by M. E. Quigley dedicated to the Old Set- 
tlers' Association: 

Quartette, "The Midnight Fire Alarm'*' 

..Mmes. Matteson and Wadge, Messrs. Wyard and Quigley 

Recitation . Miss Nettie Honey 

Toast, "The Old Settler" James Twamley 

Toast, "The Sod Shanty" James Carpenter 

Song and Quartette ."The Old Sod Shack" 

Toast, "The Red River Valley" George B. Winship 

Toast, "Woman, Her Influence and Beauty". .George K. McEwan 

Toast, "The Young Settler" W. E. Hoover 

Recitation Miss Maud McEwan 

Vocal Solo B. F. Green 

Col. Lounsberry, C. D. Lord, Nels N. Midgarden and Mrs. 
Harry A. Holmes were also called upon to say a few words. All 
responded with short interesting talks on matters incidental to 
the early history of the valley. Mrs. Holmes was the first white 
child born in the valley. 

The Old Sod Shack. 

It was builded on the prairie ; 

Was not sheltered by a tree ; 
Where the wild flowers bloomed about it 

And the wild winds whistled free. 


Its walls were made of sod, 

Of which there was no lack, 
And poplar poles for rafters 

In the old sod shack. 


Though nearly vanished now, 

It brings our mem 'ry back ; 
For we once had homely comforts 

In the old sod shack. 

Oh, it cost us very little 

To uprear our domicile; 
A little patient labor 

And our house was up in style; 
Small need there was for nails, 

And we owed no lumber-jack 
For the shingles on the roof 

Of the old sod shack. 

It is nearly out of use, 

And its place is taken by 
The more pretentious mansion 

With shade trees planted nigh. 
But North Dakota's hist'ry 

"Will be surely off the track 
If no page is written there 

For the old sod shack. 

Let us kindly think upon it 

As our way through life we take ; 
Let us treasure up these mem'ries 

For old friends' and friendships' sake; 
May the last chip from our mem'ry, 

Which old Time will surely back, 
Be the one that bears the image 

Of the old sod shack. 

A grand ball in the opera house concluded the day's merri- 


Second Day. 

The band was out early and played a number of selections in 
the streets while the old settlers gathered at the Masonic hall to 
conclude the work of the adjourned business meeting of the 
previous day. 

The meeting was called to order by President Twamley. After 
some discussion on the matter of classifying the members into 
four degrees, the following names and dates were decided for 
each class: 

All coming to the valley prior to July 1 of each of the follow- 
ing years: 

1871 "Cat Fish" class. 1876 "Dog Train" class. 1879 
"Ox Cart" class. 1881 "Stage Coach" class. It was decided 
that the association have buttons made to indicate the different 

The following were the new members admitted during the 
morning's meeting: 

0. A. Trovatten, John L. Main, John Peterson, Thomas A. 
Catherwood, John A. Gemmill, J. D. Gemmill, Robert Johnson, 
D. White, Robert Brett, Harry Peoples, John Lewis, George F. 
Honey, William M. Bruce. 

Honorary Members. 

Mrs. Harry Peoples, Mrs. J. A. Gemmill, Mrs. J. D. Gemmill, 
Mrs. Duncan White, Mrs. George F. Honey, Mrs. Thomas A. 
Catherwood, Mrs. 0. A. Trovatten, Mrs. Robert Brett, Mrs. John 
Lewis, Mrs. William M. Bruce. 

A drive through the city followed, which occupied about two 
hours, and the visitors were shown the beauties of the city. 

Sides were chosen for the tug-of-war between the old settlers. 
Col. C. A. Lounsberry held one end of the string and Thomas 
Nesbit, of Polk county, the other end. Three trials were made 
and the Colonel won. 

John H. Peterson, of Golden Valley, was the victor in the 100- 
yard foot race for old settlers over fifty years of age, and carried 
away the elegant trophy cup. Pat Stoughton came in second 
and George B. Winship, of the Grand Forks Herald, third. J. E. 
Sullivan and Thomas Nesbit, of Polk county, Robert Johnson and 


Col. Lounsberry also started, but they were not so speedy as the 
winners, as the result shows. 

The boys' sack race was won by H. Halldorson and Arthur 
Soil, second. The barrel race by George Martin and Fordyce 
Code, second. Emmett and John Dougherty won first and sec- 
ond in the bicycle race. Walter Nelson won the foot race. 

At one o'clock the band headed the procession to the ball 
grounds, where Cooperstown and Park Eiver were billed to give 
the spectators a good exhibition of the national game. The teams 
lined up and the game was called and lasted a little over two 
hours, the score standing 8 to 10 in favor of the Cooperstowns. 

The two days' session was terminated in the evening by a 
concert in the opera house. Those of the old settlers who re- 
mained thoroughly enjoyed the last number of the two days' 
programme of the tenth annual session. The Misses Wilma and 
Ruth Anderson again won plaudits from those sensitively re- 
sponsive to the charms of classic music. The other numbers of 
the programme were also enthusiastically received. The follow- 
ing is the programme: 

Piano Solo Polonaise (the major) Chopin 

Miss Wilma Anderson. 

Vocal Solo .- 

Mr. M. E. Quigley. 

Violin Solo Rondo Capricioso Saint-Saens 

Miss Ruth Anderson. 

Recitation On the Other Train 

Mrs. R. C. Cliff. 

Piano Solo (a) Filense (Spinning Song) 

(b) Waltz Van Dooren 

Miss Wilma Anderson. 

Vocal Solo 

Mrs. B. C. Matteson. 

Violin Solo Serenade (Andaluza) 

Miss Ruth Anderson. 



Miss Maude McEwan. 


Piano Solo Last Hope Gottschalk 

Miss Wilma Anderson. 

Vocal Solo 

Mr. G. E. Kermott. 

Violin SoloRomance Rubinstein 

Miss Ruth Anderson. 


Dr. R. C. Cliff. 

The Mandt band furnished the music for the festive occasion 
and earned considerable praise from the people while here. 

The number of old settlers in attendance the last day was 
about 100. A large number was expected, but attractions in 
other towns on those dates prevented a good many from 

The first session of the eleventh annual meeting was called to 
order in Grafton at 10 a. m., on Wednesday, June 12, 1901, with 
President James Twamley in the chair. 

In the absence of Secretary Lounsberry, C. W. Andrews, of 
Walhalla, was made temporary secretary and the following mem- 
bers reported present: 

D. W. Driscoll, H. A. Ball, J. A. Delaney, C. G. Jackson, David 
Hogg, N. N. Midgarden, Gunder Olson, Iver Dahl, Andrew H. 
Walker, Grafton. 

Thomas Bolton, John Peterson, Henry N. Clemetson, N. 0. 
Clemetson, Park River. 

James Carpenter, John Woods, Forest River. 

A. Smith, H. J. Hagen, Abercrombie. 

James Twamley, George Richards, Andrew Kemble, Grand 
Forks. C. W. Andrews, Walhalla. 

After the appointment of committees the place of next meet- 
ing was discussed and it was decided to meet in the city of 
Wahpeton, N. D. On motion the president and secretary were 
authorized to fix the date of the meeting, which shall be held 
during the month of June, 1902. 

The election of officers was next in order. A communication 
from Col. C. A. Lounsberry, the permanent secretary, was read 
in which he stated it was impossible for him to control his time 



and attend to the duties of the office and requested that someone 
who was able to give more attention to the affairs of the asso- 
ciation be elected secretary. 

The elections resulted in the choice of H. J. Hagen, of Aber- 
crombie, for president and D. W. Driscoll, of Grafton, for treas- 
urer. C. W. Andrews, of Walhalla, was elected permanent secre- 
tary. The new officers were installed by the retiring president 
and after some appropriate remarks President Hagen appointed 
the following vice presidents : 

Pembina County Judson LaMoure. 

Walsh County James Carpenter and W. C. Lestikow. 

Grand Forks County James Twamley. 

Traill County Asa Sargent. 

Richland County H. C. N. Myhra. 

Cass County C. A. Lounsberry. 

Wilken County, Minnesota Peter Hansen. 

Mr. T. E. Cooper presented to the association a copy of the 
early history of Grafton and Walsh county and also a paper 
containing a sketch of the life of Mr. Jacob Rhinehart, an early 
settler of Walsh county. The same were accepted and a vote 
of thanks tendered Mr. Cooper, who was, on motion, made a 
regular member of the association and his wife an honorary 

The names of those who had died during the year were read 
and the secretary was instructed to prepare suitable obituary 
notices and publish same in the Journal. The following is the 

Mary Ann Woods, wife of John Woods, at Forest River, April 
24, 1901. 

David McAuley, of McAuleyville, July, 1900, aged 75 years. 

Edward Connolly, March, 1901, aged 65 years. 

J. W. Blanding, March, 1901, aged 82 years. 

Alex. Oldham, Grand Forks. 

The secretary reported receiving from J. Morley Wyard, for- 
mer treasurer, $54.25, which, with the $172.50 received from dues 
and new members, constituted the receipts for the year, $226.75. 

Letters regretting their inability to attend the annual reunion 


were received and read from Col. C. A. Lounsberry and Charles 

On motion it was ordered that the secretary prepare a roster 
of the association having the names printed in alphabetical 
order and with a copy of the journal, which was also ordered 
printed, sent to each member who has paid his membership fees 
and dues. The secretary was authorized to have the necessary 
printing done. 

Moved that the association badge be the Log Cabin, Red 
Kiver Cart and Ox with Old Settlers and R. R. V. A., date De- 
cember 31, 1881, a general badge for the association, and for 
each different date as per minutes of the association at Park 
River session, an emblem corresponding to same, "Catfish," "Dog 
Train," "Ox Cart" and "Stage Coach." 

Moved that the secretary receive ten per cent, of all moneys 
paid, as his salary. 

A hearty vote of thanks was extended to the citizens of Graf- 
ton, the committee on arrangements, the ladies of the Relief 
Corps, Professor Deeks and D. C. Moore, who acted as mayor in 
the absence of Mr. Lestikow, for their untiring efforts to make 
the meeting a pleasant success. 

At 6 :30 o 'clock Wednesday evening the visitors were invited 
to the armory, where a sumptuous dinner had been provided by 
the members of the W. R. C. About two hundred persons sat 
down to the feast and it was indeed a happy gathering. Short 
addresses were made by President Hagen, Messrs. Stockwell, 
Twamley, Toombs, Cooper, Andrews, James Carpenter and others, 
and H. A. Ball sang "My Little Old Sod Shanty on the Claim" 
in his usual happy manner and the whole company joined in the 
chorus. D. C. Moore acted as master of ceremonies and spoke 
briefly in closing this part of the programme. After everyone 
had been thoroughly satisfied with the good things prepared by 
the ladies, the company joined in singing "America." Professor 
Deeks, of Grand Forks, was present and kindly consented to 
operate the piano. The dancing was continued for an hour or 
so, and those who did not care to indulge spent the time in mak- 
ing acquaintances and talking over old times. Altogether it was 
a very pleasant affair. 


Sessions were held Thursday, but these were mostly of a 
social nature. The visitors left in the evening for their homes, 
feeling that two days had been well spent and expressing them- 
selves as delighted with the entertainment given by the citizens 
of Grafton. 

The twelfth annual meeting was called to order by H. J. 
Hagen, president of the association, in the opera house, Wahpe- 
ton, at one o'clock p. m., June 26, 1902. Prayer was offered by 
the Kev. G. H. Davies, of Wahpeton, after which Mayor Bade 
presented Hon. W. E. Purcell to the meeting, who delivered the 
address of welcome. 

The Wahpeton band assisted in the opening exercises with 
music. After the conclusion of the address, at about three p. m., 
all (not memebrs of the association) were requested to retire to 
allow the old settlers to transact the routine business of the year 
and the ladies were invited to go to Schuler Hall, where a special 
programme had been prepared for their entertainment. This 
was a special feature gotten up by the ladies of Wahpeton for 
the entertainment of the old settlers' companions and their fam- 
ilies, who are honorary members of the association, and was 
greatly enjoyed by all. 

Handsome rugs had been laid upon the floor, fine easy chairs 
provided in abundance, small tables and stands placed here and 
there, screens artistically arranged to form cosy nooks, and the 
room made as much as possible to take on the semblance of a 
parlor. Charming young ladies presided over the handsome and 
enticing frappe bowls. 

A fine musical programme had been provided and the visitors 
enjoyed it greatly. Mrs. Meckstroth sang a contralto song; the 
Misses Purdon and McKean played four-hand pieces, and the 
ladies' quartette, comprising Miss Beeman, Mesdames Bassett, 
Davidson and Meckstroth, sang choice selections. The visitors 
plainly showed their delight. 

At the business meeting the first thing on the programme was 
the reading of the minutes of the last meeting, held at Grafton, 
which were read by Assistant Secretary, the Hon. Folsom Dow, 
and on motion were approved as read. The acting secretary then 
read the death roll for the preceding year, as follows : 


J. A. Delaney, Grafton, N. D.; Maj. E. A. McGlone, Devils 
Lake, N. D.; John J. Hurley, Walhalla, N. D. ; John 0. Fadden, 
Sr., Arvilla, N. D. ; William James, Bathgate, N. D. ; William Har- 
vey, Jr., Earnest, N. D.; R. McGregor, Grafton, N. D.; M. L. 
Adams, Grand Forks, N. D. These are all the names received 
to date by the secretary of members having died during the 
preceding year. 

In the address made at this meeting the speaker reviewed in 
part the history of the association. In the latter portion of his 
speech he said: 

"At the Fargo meeting in '94 it was resolved that a commit- 
tee be appointed to procure facts concerning the early settlements 
and history of the Red River Valley. This committee consisted 
of C. A. Lounsberry, George B. Winship, S. G. Roberts, S. F. 
Crockett, E. S. Tyler, Charles Cavalier and David McCauley. A 
committee was also appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws 
for the association. 

"At the Grand Forks meeting in '95, Col. Lounsberry, chair- 
man of the historical committee, reported the work done by this 
committee, which included the establishment of the 'Record' for 
the purpose of gathering historical data. The date for eligible 
membership was advanced to settlers of the Red River Valley 
prior to December 31, 1877. 

"Pembina, December 18, 1896, when it was ordered that those 
who had settled in the valley prior to July 1, 1879, should be 
eligible to membership, and a permanent secretary be elected. 
Col. C. A. Lounsberry was made secretary. 

"Articles of association and incorporation were concluded by 
the action of the seventh annual meeting, which was held in 
Grand Forks, September 29, 1897. Under the association arti- 
cles, 'This association shall exist for a term of forty years, and 
the directors shall be eleven in number, and may hold real and 
personal property not exceeding in value ten thousand dollars. 
It may receive bequests for the purpose of establishing a his- 
torical and biographical library for preserving its records, pub- 
lishing its proceedings, biographical sketches, etc., and when dis- 
solved its property shall be turned over to the state for his- 
torical and library purposes.' 


"Wives and daughters of old settlers, if born prior to July 1, 
1879, were made eligible to be entered on the roll as honorary 

"The historical committee reported that Charles Cavalier was 
the first white settler to have a patent for North Dakota land. 
'Jim' Hill was the second purchaser of real estate in North 

C. W. Andrews, the secretary, reported at this meeting that 
the books and papers of the association, together with the minute 
book and all papers of the Park River Association, were destroyed 
at the big fire that occurred there in 1900. 

The death roll report at this time consisted of: Hon. J. A. 
Delaney, Grafton, N. D. ; Major E. A. Maglone, Devils Lake, N. 
D.; John J. Hurley, Walhalla, N. D.; John 0. Fadden, Sr., 
Arvilla, N. D. ; William James, Bathgate, N. D. ; William Harvey, 
Jr., Ernest, N. D.; R. McGregor, Grafton, N. D. 

At a meeting of the executive committee held at Grand Forks 
December 20, 1902, at which the officers of the association and 
other members were present, H. J. Hagan presented a map of 
old Fort Abercrombie, and a letter of suggestions from Albert 
Schmidt, of Abercrombie, as to how the old location could be 
utilized as a site for the Old Settlers' Historical Museum. 

The secretary presented the claims of Walhalla as such a 
site, offering to donate from one to five acres of land for the 
location and assuring the committee that any old historical build- 
ings in the locality would be freely given them to move to their 
premises in case they accepted a site in Walhalla. 

It was moved and seconded that Mr. Andrews be tendered 
a vote of thanks for his liberal offer of land at Walhalla for 
the benefit of the Old Settlers' Association. 

John Nelson, who settled at Breckenridge in 1873 and is at 
present receiver of the Grand Forks land office, was made a 
member of the association and his wife was elected an honorary 

It was moved and seconded that the general secretary send 
samples of the Journal to the Agricultural College at Fargo, the 
University at Grand Forks, the Red River Valley University at 


Wahpeton, the secretary of state and the normal schools at 
Valley City and Mayville. (Which has since been done.) 

It was moved by George B. Winship that the president, secre- 
tary and Col. Lounsberry be a committee of three for the pur- 
pose of conferring with the State Historical Society and prepare 
a memorial to the state legislature asking for the appropriation 
of $1,000 as a nucleus for the purpose of purchasing sites, put- 
ting up buildings, procuring historical relics and maintaining 
same, and that the bill be presented at the coming session of the 
legislature, if possible, by Hon. Judson LaMoure, said appropria- 
tion to be expended by the Historical Society in conjunction 
with the Red River Valley Old Settlers' Association. 

This memorial was drafted and presented to Mr. LaMoure, 
who, by the unanimous consent of the senate, introduced the 
following : 

Senate Bill No. 196. 

For an Act to Provide for the Contribution, Purchase and Cus- 
tody of Historical Sites and Relics in the State of North 
Dakota and to Appropriate Money Therefor. 
Be It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of North 
Dakota : 

Section 1. The State Historical Commission may from time 
to time, receive contributions of historical sites and relics, or 
money for the purchase of such sites and relics, and may purchase 
such sites and relics. It may purchase not exceeding ten acres 
of land, embracing the site of old Fort Abercrombie, in Richland 
county, at a cost not exceeding $500: and not exceeding ten 
acres of land, embracing the site of the first Christian mission 
grounds, at Walhalla, in Pembina county, at a cost not exceeding 
$500. When land shall be contributed or purchased as herein 
authorized for historical purposes, the title shall vest in the 
state of North Dakota, and the land may be placed in the custody 
of the Old Settlers' Association of the respective counties in 
which said sites are located, and may be improved and used by 
them for public park purposes and for the accumulation and care 
of relics of historical interest. When relics are contributed or 
purchased they shall be placed in the custody of the State His- 



torical Commission and those of a local historical nature may be 
leased to the County Old Settlers' Association, where proper pro- 
visions have been made for their care and preservation. Money 
contributed for the purchase of historic relics or sites shall be 
placed in the hands of the state treasurer and shall be paid out 
on the warrant of the state auditor when approved by the State 
Historical Commission, or a majority of its members. 

Sec. 2. There is hereby appropriated for the purpose of this 
act, the sum of $1,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary 
out of the money in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated. 
Provided, that before said appropriation shall be available there 
shall have been placed in the hands of the treasurer of the state 
of North Dakota, to the credit and for the use and benefit of said 
State Historical Commission, the sum of one thousand dollars 
($1,000) as a contribution from interested persons for carrying 
out the provisions of this act. 

The above bill was referred to the committee on resolutions, 
and through the untiring efforts of Hon. Judson LaMoure, Presi- 
dent William H. White and Hon. James Twamley, was passed on 
its third reading. . 

On motion the meeting adjourned until June 6, 1893. 
The directors of the association met, as provided for in the 
constitution of the association, at the Waldorf hotel in Fargo, 
N. D., at 9 :30 a. m., June 6, 1903. 

There was present the president, William H. White, the 
secretary, C. W. Andrews ; James Holes, vice president from Cass 
county; N. J. Hagen, vice president from Richland county; Asa 
Sargent, vice president from Traill county. A quorum being 
present, the business of the meeting was taken up and transacted. 
It was decided that the county officers should apply to the 
general secretary for all printed blanks and supplies needed. 

The report of the treasurer, showing a balance of $161.55 
in the treasury, was received and the report approved. 

On motion it was decided that county treasurers should ren- 
der full reports to the general secretary of all moneys collected. 
Vice President Holes reported the organization of the Cass 
county auxiliary on June 10 with a very interesting meeting. 
Many new members were secured and old members paid up, net- 


ting the organization $114.50 from dues and fees. He reported 
750 people in Cass county who were eligible to membership. 

Vice President Hagan reported plans for a big meeting at 
Abercrombie on June 17, and thought they would have 90 new 
members before that time, and expressed the opinion that their 
enrollment would reach 300 before the meeting was over. There 
are a great many people in Richland county who settled there 
during the years 1870 to 1875. 

Vice President Sargeant, of Traill county, made no report, 
but recommended that the counties work together and help each 
other in their work as much as possible, the general executive 
keeping in touch with each county organization. 

It was moved by H. J. Hagan that we do not have an annual 
meeting this year, but assist at the Abercrombie and Walhalla 
meetings, the officers to be elected at the Abercrombie meeting 
and installed at the Walhalla meeting. The next annual meeting 
to be held at Fargo in June, 190-1. After discussion the motion 
was approved. 

The general secretary was instructed to get out a uniform 
set of record books, receipts, order book and report blanks and 
have a supply printed so as to be able to supply each county 
upon demand. 

It was moved by James Elton, of Grand Forks county, and 
seconded by H. J. Hagen, of Richland county, that a vote of 
thanks be given the Hon. Judson LaMoure for his efforts in 
securing the passage of the bill appropriating state funds for 
the purchase of historical sites for the use of the Old Settlers' 

It was moved by H. J. Hagen that a site be purchased at 
Abercrombie comprising part of the grounds of the old fort as 
per diagram herewith submitted and marked exhibit A, at a 
cost of $75.00 per acre. The motion prevailed and H. J. Hagen, 
George Hammer, of Abercrombie, and Charles E. "Wolfe, of Wah- 
peton, were appointed a committee to purchase site. 

On motion adjourned to meet at Abercrombie June 17, 1903. 

The thirteenth annual meeting was held at Abercrombie July 
17, 1903. The meeting being called at the same time and place 
as the organization of the Richland County Auxiliary, no business 



was attempted but the receiving of reports of officers and the 
annual election. W. H. White, the president, called for the 
order of business. 

The officers elected at this meeting were: 

President L. B. Gibbs, of Grand Forks. 

Secretary C. W. Andrews, of Walhalla. 

Treasurer D. W. Driscoll, of Grafton. 

After the installation into office of President Gibbs, the fol- 
lowing vice presidents were appointed by him : 

T. R. Shaw, Pembina county. 

J. L. Cashel, Grafton, Walsh county. 

George B. Winship, Grand Forks county. 

E. Y. Sarles, Traill county. 

George I. Foster, Cass county. 

A. D. Stephens, Polk county, Minnesota. 

A. P. Mclntyre, Marshall county, Minnesota. 

On motion the association adjourned to allow the members 
to be present at the ceremonies attending the dedication of the 
Old Settlers' Park, the association to meet in 1904 on call of the 
president and executive committee. 

Wednesday, July 17, was a red-letter day for Abercrombie. 
The sun rose cloudless from the eastern horizon and seemed to 
smile an approval upon the handsomely decorated town of Aber- 
crombie with its big tent, new park and new school house. Early 
in the day teams began to come in from every direction drawing 
loads of people. The train from Fargo unloaded scores of set- 
tlers and their families and were met by the famous Kindred 
band and the reception committee at the depot, who gave them 
to understand that the town was theirs. The trains also from 
Wahpeton were loaded with people for the celebration, and by 
noon between 2,500 and 3,000 guests were in our village. The 
first on the programme was to form in line at the depot and 
march to the new school house, the procession being headed by 
the Galchute and Kindred bands ; marched to the new structure 
and with due ceremony the school board, conducted by W. C. 
Scoville and C. J. Monson, directed the laying of the keystone 
to the new building. After prayer by Rev. Edwards and singing 
by the young ladies, Albert Schmidt, the first school director of 


Abercrombie, was very appropriately chosen to perform the 
work, which he did in a very graceful manner. He also gave a 
brief history of schools in Abercrombie township. He was fol- 
lowed by an address by Hon. W. L. Stockwell, state superinten- 
dent of public instruction, which was eloquent, enthusiastic and 
inspiring from first to last, and was enjoyed by all. The pro- 
cession then marched to the new park, where Olaf Bjorke, chair- 
man of the township board of supervisors, addressed the settlers 
in a very eloquent manner. He was followed by Hon. P. J. 
McCumber, United States senator from North Dakota. He gave 
a brief history of the Dakotas, tracing them from the glacial 
period and Lake Agassiz to their present grandeur. His speech 
was eloquent and enthusing and was enjoyed by fully two thou- 
sand people. After his address the guests were directed to the 
large tent where dinner was served free to all. Mrs. Hammer, 
Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Hagen, Mrs. Munger and other ladies, assisted 
by several gentlemen, ably waited on the big crowd until all had 

After dinner W. H. White called the meeting to order and 
announced its object. After prayer by Rev. Edwards he called 
upon John D. Benton, of Fargo, who responded in his well- 
pleasing manner, also Mr. Hubbard, the man who started J. J. 
Hill in business and gave him $5 for hauling his trunk from 
McCauleyville to Moorhead, way back in the fifties. Mr. Hub- 
bard was one of the first settlers of Fargo and is well known 
here. Judge Lauder was called and delivered a very able address 
in which he paid due tribute to the people of Abercrombie for the 
elaborate preparations for the old people's comfort. The ad- 
dress of welcome was given by Hon. G. A. Hammer. He gave all 
to understand that neither time nor money had been spared to 
make a pleasant meeting for the old settlers and that they were 
heartily welcome to our hospitality. 

Mr. Holes, of Fargo, responded very pleasantly and made 
appropriate remarks upon the occasion. Mrs. Woodbury read 
the state song composed by Mrs. Slaughter. H. J. Hagen deliv- 
ered a well-worded address. Other old settlers responded and 
all present enjoyed their speaking. 

Next came the election of officers. H. J. Hagen was elected 


president of Eichland County Old Settlers' Association and 
Anton Mikche vice president for the coming year, Hon. George 
Van Amain secretary and K. L. Johnson treasurer. 

Supper then was ready and Mrs. C. "W. McCauley had been 
chosen toast mistress. She was right at home in the position and 
made things lively by enthusing the crowd with her ready wit 
and humor. She called upon the following, who responded to 
the different subjects assigned them: Senator McCumber, "The 
Pioneer Citizen ; ' ' County Attorney Schuler, * ' The Improvements 
of the Day;" W. H. White, "The Old Settler Financially;" James 
Holes, Fargo; C. W. Andrews, "The Old Settler Industrially;" 
Col. Benton, "The Old Life and the New;" J. A. Johnson, ex- 
mayor of Fargo, "The Ladies Past and Present;" 0. J. Hagen, 
"What the Old Settlers Stand for." J. Q. Burbank, county sur- 
veyor, responded to a toast very gracefully and Alex Stern was 
called on, but was too busy with his supper to respond. All in 
all everybody enjoyed the occasion and Abercrombie people feel 
amply repaid for their trouble. 

The fifteenth annual meeting of the association was held at 
Grand Forks, N. D., June 27, 1905, with President L. B. Gibbs 
in the chair. 

The death roll for this year includes the names of: D. W. 
Driscoll, Graf ton; William A. Ackerman, Grand Forks; George 
Eichards, Grand Forks; Andrew Kimble, East Grand Forks; 
Peter Ferry, Turtle Kiver ; Mrs. Barney Haggerty, Grand Forks ; 
Mrs. Ann Martin, Grand Forks ; Mrs. D. McDonald, Grand Forks ; 
Mrs. C. Coulter, Mallory. 

Fraternal letters from the following persons were received 
and read: Hon. W. E. Purcell, of Wahpeton; D. A. Hogg, of 
Graf ton; T. E. Shaw, Pembina; Mrs. Carrie W. McCauley, of 
McCauleyville, Minn. ; President J. J. Hill, of the Great Northern 
Eailway Company; Colonel A. W. Edwards, of Montreal; Sen- 
ators Hansbrough and McCumber, and Congressman Gronna, of 
Lakota, and Congressman Steenerson, of Crookston, and Gov- 
ernor E. Y. Sarles. 

Secretary Andrews addressed the meeting in reference to a 
collection of relics by the association. Through the efforts of the 
association the state had appropriated $500.00 for the purchase 


of a historical park site at Walhalla and a like amount for Aber- 
crombie. Five acres have been purchased at both points, both 
historic ground and adapted for permanent park purposes. It 
is designed to make these as beautiful and attractive as possible. 
At Walhalla one of the old warehouses built by N. W. Kittson 
sixty years ago is still standing and this will be moved to the 
park, fitted up suitably as a museum for relics, and the nucleus 
of a collection has been already formed. Secretary Andrews had 
secured a Ked river cart made by Red Bear in 1848, which has 
been exhibited at the St. Louis fair and is now on exhibition at 
Portland. This has been donated to the association for the 
Walhalla museum and another cart built by M. Dupre in 1862 
has been donated to the Abercrombie collection by Secretary 

Secretary Andrews urged that all take an interest in making 
a valuable collection of relics which should form the association's 

Hon. W. H. White, of Fargo, vice president for Cass county, 
a former president of the parent association, addressed the 
society on the subject of the county auxiliaries. Mr. White had 
been largely instrumental in having the county auxiliaries organ- 
ized, but felt that perhaps it was a mistake. He urged that the 
county auxiliaries should not be allowed to detract in any man- 
ner from the parent association, nor to take its place, to any 
extent, but instead, its object should be to build up the Red 
River Valley Association. 

Vice President H. J. Hagen, of Richland county, and others 
expressed the same sentiment. Secretary Andrews said that it 
was very necessary to have a secretary of each of the county 
auxiliaries who would co-operate with the general secretary. 

The matter of the election of officers was taken up and a dis- 
cussion ensued as to the form. A motion offered by the Hon. 
John D. Benton that the association elect a president who should 
nominate twelve vice presidents, one for each of the counties in 
the Red River valley, eleven of whom should be named as the 
directors, and these nominations to be ratified by the association, 
was adopted. 

After a concert in the evening the old settlers joined heartily 


in a dance, the company making a merry time until 1 o'clock in 
the morning. 

The annual meeting of the Red River Valley Old Settlers' 
Association for 1906 was held in the Masonic Temple at Fargo, 
N. D., July 24, 1906, with an attendance of more than 300 persons. 

The meeting was called to order by the president, Thomas 
Baker, Jr., who introduced Mayor J. A. Johnson, who delivered 
an address of welcome. Mayor Johnson spoke feelingly of early 
days, of those whom he met when he came to Fargo twenty-seven 
years ago, of the enterprise and enthusiasm of the people, of the 
willingness to back up any scheme for the advancement of the 
city ; men put up five or ten dollars then, where today they would 
not put up one, of the value of these meetings from an historical 
point of view, and reminded the members that much of historical 
interest would be lost if not placed on record while they were 

An interesting address was given by Mr. H. A. Tagen and 
remarks were also made by Colonel Ball, S. G. Roberts, L. B. 
Gibbs, James Twamley, C. W. Andrews, J. Schmidt and N. K. 
Hubbard. Colonel Morton also gave an interesting address in 
which he told of his first coming to Fargo in 1875, being twenty- 
four hours on the train from St. Paul to Fargo, of his investments 
in land within ten miles from Fargo, at prices ranging from 
$96.00 to $200.00 per quarter, land that now, thirty years after, 
brings $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 per quarter and even more. Colonel 
Morton is a good story teller and his stories of Mayor Chapin, 
Major Edwards and others were keenly appreciated by the old 
settlers present. 

At the conclusion of the programme, William Anglin, of 
Crookston, was elected president of the association and Crookston 
was selected as the next place for the meeting. 

Report of the Secretary-Treasurer. 

During the year just closed, the Red River Valley Old Set- 
tlers' Association has held one general meeting at Grand Forks 
under the auspices of the Grand Forks County Association, which 
was largely attended by the old settlers of Grand Forks county 
and also many members from over the state and from Minne- 


sola. There were also held meetings of county organizations for 
Pembina and Walsh counties at Walhalla; of Richland county 
at Christine on June 8, 1905, and again at Wyudmere on June 
14 and 15, 1906. The Polk County Association held a meeting 
at Crookston. The meetings were well attended and thoroughly 

Not so many new members were received this year as in 
former years and many old members have failed to pay their 
dues. Some of the county secretaries do not realize the im- 
portance of reporting to the general secretary all the members 
enrolled and dues collected. It is particularly important to 
report the present address of each member, so that notices may 
be sent from time to time from the general secretary's office. 

The books of the general secretary show a membership as 
follows: Pembina and Walsh counties, 177 members; Grand 
Forks county, 120 members ; Cass county, 107 members ; Richland 
county, 116 members; Polk county, 51 members; a total of 571 
members, but I think that there are many members whose names 
do not appear on the general secretary's books. 

During the past year we have received $500.00 from the state 
of North Dakota to aid in fitting up the park at Walhalla, under 
the auspices of the Pembina and Walsh County Associations. 
The grounds have been purchased and the old warehouse built 
in 1852 and used by Commodore Kittson in his fur trading busi- 
ness, has been purchased, repaired and placed in the park, and 
other improvements made. 



By Old Settlers. 
And Incidents in the Early Settlement of North Dakota. 

Major William Camp was a native of Philadelphia, Pa., but 
a man of the world, an all-around cosmopolitan, genial and pleas- 
ant. He had visited all parts of the United States and was a 
close observer, and having a very retentive memory he possessed 
a wonderful fund of information. He was not avaricious, but he 
gained a competence and never wanted for any of the comforts 
of life. He went to California in 1849, remaining several years, 
having good success in mining, and might have taken his ease 
during the remainder of his life on the accumulated dust, but 
he divided his means among friends, retaining only enough to 
return to the gold fields, where he again gained a competence 
which he in part divided with the same generous spirit as before. 
Being a brother-in-law of Colonel John Hancock, he came to 
Pembina in 1870 and took a pre-emption claim near old Fort 
Pembina, and settled down to the life of an amateur settler, cul- 
tivating a large garden in the early morning and other odd times, 
but really spending most of his time angling for Red river salmon, 
as the catfish and gold eyes were called. He was an expert in 
this line a worthy son of Walton indeed it was believed he 
could have given old Sir Izaak points. As he fished for pastime 
and required but few for his own use, his neighbors came in for 
the lion's share of the fruits of his sport. He seemed to have a 
magnetic influence on the fish and would haul them in when 
those on the same stream above and below got no bites, but 



Major Camp was happy even though it sometimes happened that 
even his bait would not tempt the fish, in the contemplation of 
his former successes or of the good time to come. He was not a 
Nimrod. Indeed, I doubt whether he ever fired a gun or a pistol. 
He absolutely knew nothing of shooting, and never carried a 
gun or knife during all of the rough scenes he had passed through. 
He was at all times genial and pleasant. In his home he had a 
favorite cat which followed him into the fields where he was at 
work. When the cat died the usual sign of mourning was placed 
on the shanty door. The children, especially the little girls, 
were always his friends, and the dimes he spent on the little ones 
would have more than paid his taxes. Sometimes he would prom- 
ise them the first nickel he should find or a nickel when "the 
pigs got fat enough to kill." One day when he had given the 
same old bluff for about the eleventh time, one of the little girls 
told him he could lie faster than a horse could run, which was 
all the same to the Major. He had no enemies and was liked by 
all. He was a good conversationalist and could tell any number 
of good stories. He had many quaint sayings. "Up is up and 
down is down; right is right and right wrongs no one," was a 
common one. Again he would remark: "The young may die; 
the old must." Frank Hart quoted this on him a few days be- 
fore his death and finally succeeded in getting him to make a 
will. It is in favor of Colonel John Hancock. The estate con- 
sists of $2,000 or more in money and considerable in mortgages. 
His death was painless and without a struggle and he was buried 
by the Free Masons in the beautiful cemetery at Pembina, where 
it is hoped his friends will erect a suitable monument at an early 
day. A good citizen, a kind friend, a noble man has gone to his 

In his sober and conversational moments the Major but sel- 
dom flickered out; but when in a mellow mood, as he sometimes 
would get, he would burst out in a melodious strain in a high, 
low or flat tone, as the humor took him, with "Mary of Argyle," 
and keep it up for hours, and in part of it the Swiss Nightingale 
would be in a total eclipse. This, to the knowledge of your corre- 
spondent, was all the song he tried his vocal powers on. 

Now and then he would illustrate a subject he was speaking 


on by a quotation from Shakespeare or some noted poet, thus 
demonstrating that he was not the subject that was only "fit 
for bar-room stratagem and sports." 

Old Time Wedding Festivities. By Charles Cavalier. 

When we had returned to the house, which was filled with 
over sixty happy couples, all nicely and tastefully and some 
richly attired, I must say I never saw a more genteel lot of people, 
and there was beauty galore, and a finer party of ladies, com- 
bined with much beauty, I never saw. The supper was a grand 
affair, the table was loaded with all the substantials and luxuries 
of civilized 'life with much of hunter's skill, which all ate with 
the appetite of us northerners, while toasts and speeches were 
made by some of our home talent. Supper over, the tables cleared 
and teeth picked, all by nine o'clock, then the room was cleared 
for the dance, fiddlers tuned up, and the young beaus hunted 
their partners. This pastime was one I shall never forget, for it 
was kept up all night, some of them singing, "We won't go home 
till morning," nor did they, the most of them, and did not see 
bed until the next night. Thus ended our old-time wedding of 
the Red river of North Dakota. Times are changed and the pro- 
gramme is now of another scale. 

On the 16th of March, 1857, we left the good old home of 
my wife on our return to St. Joseph, N. D. My father-in-law, 
Mr. Murray, accompanied us part of the way and my wife's 
brother, James, returned with us to St. Joseph. Arriving at 
Narcisse Marion's, I was to take my own dog team, managed by 
Commodore Paul Bouvier, same as on the voyage down. We bade 
our old friend Marion and wife good-bye that day after dinner, 
Paul leading with the dogs. Sandy Dahl, next with my wife on 
board his train, followed by Mr. Murray and James. Having a 
good road and a fine day for travel we went along kiting and 
arrived in good time at our intended camping place at Old 
Dauphinais. Mr. D. in his young days was a Canadian voyageur, 
but after his marriage with a half-breed girl he settled down to 
pastoral and agricultural life, but leaving his home twice a year, 
he took the plains as a hunter of buffalo and other game, return- 
ing in June with his carts laden with pemmican and buffalo cow 


pelts with which to make robes. My father-in-law and the old 
man having been hunters together in their young days, they 
swapped the usual yarns of hunting exploits until they talked 
me to sleep. Next morning we took an early and substantial 
breakfast and bade adieu to Mr. Murray and our host, Old Dau- 
phinais, of whom I may say in passing, that he was in a prosper- 
ous way, having some sixty head of horses, over forty horned 
cattle; sheep and chickens, and eighteen or twenty children; 
but to resume our journey, we had fine weather that day, though 
it commenced thawing the day we arrived at Pembina. That 
night we camped at Two Little Points, and had a pleasant and 
comfortable time. The next day we reached Pembina. Mr. 
Murray and I were treated to the best they had in the larder 
and the old custom in those days of sipping port wine until late 
bedtime. The next day early, having bid our friends good-bye, 
we endeavored to make a good spell before it commenced thaw- 
ing, and by so doing we arrived at St. Joseph before dark and 
were welcomed by our friends with a fusillade of twenty or more 
N. W. Trading Company's flint-lock guns, all of which did me 
good to take in. 

An Old-Timer's Story. Senator R. M. Probstfield. 

One of the most interesting characters among the early set- 
tlers of the Eed Eiver valley is Kandolph M. Probstfield, farmer, 
living on the Eed river just below Moorhead. Mr. Probstfield 
came in advance of civilization, before the stage lines and steam- 
boats, before the United States surveys, before the railroads, and 
before Moorhead and Fargo were born in thought even. 

Born near Muenster-Mayfield, Germany, November 9, 1832, 
Mr. Probstfield came to the United States when a lad of nine- 
teen. He resided a while in Wisconsin and northern Michigan, 
where he was engaged in lumbering, and in Milwaukee a month 
or so, and came to St. Paul in 1853. The Big Timber country 
was then unsurveyed, and he went into the wilds near what 
is now Mankato and took up a claim which fell on school lands, 
and he gave it up. In September, 1853, he went down the Missis- 
sippi from St. Paul on a lumber raft to what is now Wabasha, 
and thence to Galena, 111., by steamer, where he located in the 



wood business. He returned to St. Paul in the spring of 1854. 
He was an active politician in those days, and, though a Demo- 
crat, was instinctively opposed to human slavery, and went south 
in order to observe the working of that system. He run on the 
Ohio and Mississippi between Pittsburg, Cincinnati and New 
Orleans, and finally shipped on the Prometheus as a cabin boy 
and went to Nicaragua at the time of Walker's filibustering 
expedition. Crossing over the isthmus, he went to San Francisco. 
Returning to the Mississippi and Ohio, he was again employed, 
this time as a roustabout, and came up the river in the spring of 
1856, as soon as the ice would permit. The river was frozen from 
Cairo to St. Louis and below that for many miles filled with 
floating ice. 

Speaking of the winter of 1856, the editor of "The Record" 
was then in Ohio and made thirteen weekly trips carrying the 
mail from Hicksville, Ohio, to Fort Wayne, Ind., on runners, after 
the first of January. There was good sleighing on the first of 
April, and the old people who used to live on the Susquehanna, 
in New York, told stories of deep snows and blizzards which out- 
blizzard the severest Red River valley weather. 

Returning to Minnesota, Mr. Probstfield became interested in 
a hotel at Chisago City, where he prospered, but, meeting with 
unexpected difficulties through a partner, left there in 1857 and 
was thereafter employed for a time clerking in a grocery store 
in West St. Paul, where he became active in politics, was super- 
visor, assessor, collector, etc. 

Minnesota had voted $5,000,000 in bonds to promote the con- 
struction of railroads, and these bonds were made the basis for 
the issue of currency by state banks. The bonds fell in value, 
the banks broke, and the people who had either bonds or alleged 
money, lost, Probstfield being one of the losers. 

Preceding the panic, there had been an era of speculation in 
town sites, and several were located on the Red river, among them 
Lafayette and Sheyenne City, located near the mouth of the 
Sheyenne. The eastern states were flooded with circulars of 
paper cities. They would be located on some prominent stream, 
and laid out into blocks and lots, the plats showing beautiful 
parks, steamboats, prospective railroads, and thriving commer- 


cial marts. People in the East were offered lots for $2, just the 
cost of making out the transfer and recording the deeds, the 
alleged object being to secure settlement, which would make the 
reserved lots of great value ; but in this case no lots were sold. 

Stories had come back of the rich agricultural lands in the 
Red River valley, and, wanting to get beyond the confines of 
civilization, perhaps where he could contemplate his losses unmo- 
lested for the true German wants to be let alone in his miseries, 
but is always ready to share his joys he started for the Red 
River valley, February 26, 1859. 

Accompanying him were George Emerling and Gerhardt Lulls- 
dorf. George Emerling afterwards kept a hotel in Fort Garry, 
now Winnipeg, and later settled at Walhalla, where he built the 
first flouring mill in North Dakota. He died at Walhalla of 
smallpox. With the true instincts of the pioneer settler, Emer- 
ling took in one sick of this dread disease, because others pro- 
nounced him unclean, and gave his life for the care of him. 
Lullsdorf engaged in the hardware business in Mankota after- 
ward, where he was associated with John F. Meagher. 

The journey to the Red river was a hard one in many respects. 
The winter was much such a winter as this until March. There 
was snow until they reached Sauk Rapids. At what is now Little 
Falls, or near there, at Luther's, they left their wagon and 
took sleds. 

Crow Wing, fifteen miles below what is now Brainerd, was 
the outside settlement, except that there was a land office at 
Otter Tail City. The settlers there were Duncan and James 
McDougall and one Van Ness, who married part blood daughters 
of John McDonald, who was an Indian trader at that point, and 
the two land officers. Duncan McDougall still lives in the country 
near Richwood, on the reservation in Becker county, Minnesota. 

On the way from Otter Tail they caught up with Anson 
Northrup's expedition en route to the Red river for the purpose 
of building a steamboat. Desirous of opening trade with the 
Hudson Bay interests, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce had 
offered a bonus of $10,000 for the construction of a steamboat 
on the Red River of the North, and Anson Northrup had under- 
taken to earn that money. His expedition consisted of forty- 


four men and a large number of ox teams. Baldwin Olmstead, 
Lewis Stone and George Stone were interested with Northrup 
and were leading characters in the expedition. The machinery 
was from the old North Star, which run on the Mississippi above 

The snow had become very deep, and it was snowing every 
day. About March 12 the expedition was out of hay, and Probst- 
field went to the south end of Otter Tail lake, and it took three 
days for the trip. The snow was three feet deep and more com- 
ing. Reaching Oak lake, they could go no farther, and were com- 
pelled to cut down trees to enable their ponies to live. So far 
they had followed the Hudson Bay and half-breed cart trails. 
From there they must try an unknown country, buried in snow, 
and it took several days' exploration before they dared to strike 
out. After ten days' waiting, the Northrop party caught up with 
them, and, the explorations having been completed, they struck 
out for the mouth of the Sheyenne, about ten miles north of 
Fargo and Moorhead. They struck the Buffalo, six miles east 
of the Red river, March 31, 1859, and Probstfield rode into Lafay- 
ette, as this point was then generally called, late in the evening, 
for provisions, the whole party being out of supplies. Edward 
Murphy, from Montreal, and Charles Nash and Henry Myers, 
from New York, were then living there. Across the river two 
men were holding down a town site, known as Dakota City, for 
Pierre Bottineau and others, of Minneapolis. The men were 
Frank Durant and David Auger. That was before Dakota was 
created, and the territory was unorganized and unattached. 

Richard Banning, a brother of William L. Banning, well 
known in Minnesota history, lived one and a half miles north of 
Lafayette, holding down the town site of Sheyenne City. One- 
half mile farther north, George "W. Northrop and his partner, 
Cloren, lived in a nameless city. Northrop was a great hunter 
and trapper, and was often employed by English noblemen to 
accompany them on buffalo hunts. He was killed under General 
Sully during the Indian war, July 28, 1864. Ten miles south of 
Sheyenne, where Mr. Probstfield now lives, then known as Ten- 
Mile Point, Robert Davis then resided. Eighty rods north of him 
was the home of John Hanna. Ed. Griffin, now living at Fargo, 


and James Anderson, alias Eobinson Crusoe, were also in the 
vicinity, Griffin at the mouth of the Wild Eice. There were two 
companies of soldiers at Abercrombie. 

This was before Georgetown was established, and these were 
practically all of the white settlers south of Pembina in the Eed 
Eiver valley. 

Probstfield succeeded in obtaining supplies at Lafayette, con- 
sisting of pork and flour, and the night was spent baking bis- 
suit. He started on the return early, and the hungry men soon 
had relief. That night the expedition reached Lafayette the 
mouth of the Sheyenne and in a few days the machinery, which 
had been left at various points en route, owing to the bad roads, 
was brought in. 

A pit was dug and men set to work with a whip-saw to cut 
lumber for the boat. By this process two men could cut about 
250 feet per day if the timber was frozen. When not frozen, not 
more than 175 feet could be cut. It was a tedious process, but 
the material was supplied by and by, and the hull of the boat com- 
pleted. After the completion of the hull it was run up to Aber- 
crombie, where the cabin was put on. There was plenty of busi- 
ness on the river, but Northrup had trouble enough of his own, 
and proceeded to St. Paul, where he collected his bonus for the 
construction of the boat and then tied her up. He had agreed to 
put a boat on the Eed river, but not to run her, and by refusing 
forced her sale to Blakely & Carpenter. 

April 22, 1859, Mr. Probstfield left on his return trip for St. 
Paul. He was accompanied by Eobert McNeil, who had four 
horses and a Eed Eiver cart ; James Eyan and David Augie also 
accompanied the party. 

Northrup had exhausted his resources in his boat-building, 
and his old-time credit was gone, and as Probstfield had depended 
upon his orders for supplies, he found slim picking on his way 
back. He found Northrup 's family at St. Anthony and brought 
them the first intelligence they had from him since he left them 
early in February for his Eed Eiver expedition. The deep snows 
gave swollen streams and bad roads, but they reached their desti- 
nation seventeen days out from the Eed river, and started back 


in July. Adam Stein returned with Mr. Probstfield, and they got 
back to the Red river about the 12th of July. 

In the meantime the stage line had been extended to Aber- 
crombie from St. Cloud, and about August 1 it was extended to 
Georgetown, which had been established as a station of the 
Hudson Bay Company. From thence freight was shipped to Fort 
Garry by team or steamer, and from there to other Hudson Bay 
Company points. James McKay located Georgetown. He was 
in charge of the Hudson Bay Company train. A warehouse was 
built the following winter, and the next year a hotel and a store 
to supply the men with their needs, but not for general trade. 

Prior to 1860 one range of towns had been surveyed along 
the Red river up to Town 144, as far north as Wild Rice. Wilkin 
county was known as Toombs county and Clay as Breckinridge. 

Robert McKenzie was the first in charge of Georgetown. He 
was a part-blood Cree, a most excellent gentleman. In December, 
1859, he accompanied a party of Hudson Bay people as a guide. 
A few miles south of Pembina the party run out of supplies and 
McKenzie went to Pembina for relief; failing to return, they 
pushed on to Pembina, and, finding that he had not been there, a 
searching party found him frozen to death about seventeen miles 
south of Pembina. The thermometer had ranged from 30 to 40 
degrees below zero for several days, with a strong northwest 

James Pruden was the next in charge at Georgetown. He 
was the reverse of McKenzie in almost everything. The men 
mutinied under his ill treatment, and he found it prudent to leave. 
He was succeeded by Alex. Murray, a most capable and efficient 
gentleman. He was in charge until September, 1862, when the 
post was evacuated for a time because of the Indian war. There 
were about thirty men employed at Georgetown at the time, 
erecting buildings, making hay and attempting to farm, about 
twenty acres being under cultivation at the time. The first crop 
was put in in 1861, but the season was late, owing to the floods 
of that year, and the next year it was abandoned because of the 
Indian outbreak, and never harvested. 

Georgetown was re-established in 1864, and in 1865 Mr. 
Probstfield took charge and remained in charge from that time 


till 1868. He was postmaster at Georgetown from 1864 to 1869. 
Oscar Bentley was in charge of the post in 1864 and until Mr. 
Probstfield succeeded him. 

D. P. Harris, killed by burglars in Minneapolis ; Henry Gager, 
now residing at Bismarck, and the two Bentleys, came to the post 
in 1864. 

The International was built at Georgetown in the spring of 
1862. On her first trip down the river from Georgetown she car- 
ried a party of Frazier River adventurers, among the number 
Andrew Holes, of Moorhead. The machinery was from the old 
Freighter, which was attempted to be sent up the Minnesota 
through Lake Traverse and Big Stone lake to the Red river ; and 
had the boat started earlier the feat could have been accom- 
plished, the water being so high during the spring of 1861. But 
she was left aground in the outlet of Big Stone lake, and in the 
winter of 1861-2 her machinery was hauled by team to George- 
town, under much the same conditions as Northrup had hauled 
his boat from the Mississippi, except that she was moved over a 
timberless and uninhabited country from the mouth of Mustinka 
creek, where she had wintered. 

In September, 1860, Mr. Probstfield went to Europe. Three 
brothers and two cousins returned with him. They were delayed 
several weeks the next spring, but when they came to the valley 
in 1861 they brought five yoke of cattle, ten cows and thirty head 
of young cattle. They left St. Paul, May 25, and reached the 
Red river, June 22. They carried a long rope with which to 
pull their wagons through the sloughs, carrying their loads 
over the best way they could, locating on section 32, township 
142, range 48, one-half mile south of where Georgetown was 

In 1862 Mr. Probstfield purchased twenty-four head of sheep. 
They came from Fort Garry, and cost $100 in gold. They came 
on the first return trip of the International. The freight was $40. 
Eighteen hours after their arrival all but one were killed by 
Hudson Bay dogs, and the other one was killed during their 
absence from Georgetown at the time of the evacuation. 

Two of his brothers entered the army Justus P., in Com- 
pany G of the Fourth Minnesota, and died at the New House of 


Refuge in St. Louis, October 30, 1863. Anthony enlisted in 
Company D, Fifth Minnesota, and died at Jefferson Barracks, 
twenty days before his brother. Anthony had served in the Prus- 
sian army as an artilleryman, and did effective work at the siege 
of Abercrombie. One shot fired by him struck a house occupied 
by Indians besieging the fort and killed four. The other brother 
was employed as a carpenter at Abercrombie. He died in Mis- 
souri in 1894. The cousins left the country on account of the 
Indian troubles. One is in or near Portland, Ore., the other in 
Los Angeles, Cal. 

In September, 1861, Mr. Probstfield went to South Bend, Ind., 
where he was married to Catherine Goodman, a sister of Peter, 
Joseph and Adam Goodman, now at Sheldon, who were also early 
settlers in the Red River valley. After the wedding they drove 
from St. Paul in an ox team and covered wagon to Georgetown, 
taking eighteen days for the trip. Mary Probstfield, their first- 
born, was a babe when the exciting events of the Indian war 
which followed occurred. 

The years 1859 and 1860 had been years of hardships. There 
had been the flood of 1861, the late season, and the excitement 
of the war. The Sioux, then occupying the lake and big timber 
regions, were angry and threatening, and the Chippewas were 
clamoring for treaty rights. There was bad blood between the 
Chippewas and the Crees, and when the war spirit is on the 
Indian, or his heart is bad, there is no telling where or when he 
will strike. 

Finally the expected happened. The settlers at Breckinridge 
were massacred and Fort Abercrombie, which contained two 
companies of troops and such settlers as could be alarmed and 
brought in for safety, was besieged. 

The first news reached Georgetown on the night of August 22, 
1862. Two companies had previously been stationed at George- 
town, but they had been withdrawn and the post was defenseless. 
About midnight, Mr. Probstfield was .aroused by loud knocking 
at his door by George Lullsdorf and E. R. Hutchinson, with 
orders to dress quickly and hurry to the post for safety. There 
they found consternation, panic, confusion, frightened men and 
weeping women. The night was passed in terror. A Hudson 


Bay Company train had arrived that night loaded with goods for 
the north, and with the men of this train and those at the 
post, and the settlers who had come into that point, they mus- 
tered forty-four men able to bear arms. They had thirty-three 
guns good, bad and indifferent including some old flintlocks, 
but there was an abundance of ammunition in the stores for 
shipment north. Norman W. Kittson was there in charge of 
the Hudson Bay Transportation interests, and the International 
lay at the landing. 

The organization was perfect, and for two weeks or more 
they kept up their constant vigil, the outposts being relieved 
every two hours. The windows and doors of the buildings were 
barricaded with plank, provided with portholes. A bastion was 
thrown out at the corner, with room for six men, and thus pre- 
pared and armed for defense, they waited, debating as to which 
way to retire. They knew Abercrombie was surrounded and that 
several men escorting couriers out of the fort had been killed, 
and so they decided to go north and reach safety at Fort Garry, 
if possible. 

"The crossing of the river that night at Georgetown," says 
Mr. Probstfield, "is one I shall never forget. The sufferings, the 
anxiety, the terrors, and the disappointment, to me were of all 
events most deeply impressed upon my mind. We had all worked 
all night, most of us like heroes I thinking only of the safety 
of the whole, regardless of self or of my family even, except 
as our interests were bound up in the whole ; and at last I found 
myself alone with wife and babe, team and goods, without a soul 
to help, excepting the almost sick and physically helpless Alex- 
ander Murray, the agent of the company, who with us was the 
last to leave. Team after team was ferried across the stream, 
and as the work of evacuation progressed, the panic increased, 
and when we came to cross it required considerable persuasion 
to have the ferry returned for us. ' ' 

They camped out of rifle range from the timber, about one- 
half mile from Georgetown on the Dakota side, and so great 
was the exhaustion that every soul fell asleep and the camp was 
left without the slightest protection. At noon they reached Elm 
river, and as they were preparing or eating their dinner, Pierre 


Bottineau came in from Abercrombie and informed them of the 
conditions there, and that he had seen Indians prowling around 
near Georgetown. This created another panic, and those who 
had not had their dinner, desired none, and they hurriedly broke 
camp and hurried on. Various propositions were made, among 
them one for the women and children to go on with the horse 
teams, while the men would bring on the train; but as human 
life was regarded of the greatest value, the party moved on with 
the greatest caution, reconnoitering the Goose and other streams 
where there was timber before attempting to cross, always throw- 
ing the train into corral when stopping. They crossed the Goose 
late next day and were encouraged by meeting fifteen well armed 
and thoroughly equipped horsemen from Pembina, who had been 
sent out for their relief. Among the party were Joe Rolette, 
Hugh Donaldson, William Moorhead and others well known then 
to Probstfield. Pierre Bottineau returned with them, having gone 
on for relief. 

The International had left for Fort Garry the evening of 
the evacuation of Georgetown, having on board the family of 
Alexander Murray and other women and children from the post, 
Commodore Kittson and others. The river being low, the boat 
was grounded about six miles by land below Georgetown, at what 
is now Caledonia ; therefore it became necessary to dispatch some 
teams to remove the women and children from the boat, together 
with the crew and some of the more important goods. Two men 
were left in charge of the boat as watchmen. They were Joseph 
Adams and Robert Scrambler. Mrs. Scrambler remained with 
her husband. A barge attached to the boat was loosened and 
floated down the river in charge of E. R. Hutchinson. 

At the camp the wagons were in corral and every man was 
on the alert. About eleven at night, when the party was momen- 
tarily expected to return, an Indian yell was heard that was 
simply hair-lifting. Every man was on his feet, and every rifle 
cocked, when the voice of Hugh Donaldson assured them there 
was no danger. The yell came from Pierre Bottineau, who was 
in a playful mood from what he had found at the boat, the sale 
of which is now prohibited in North Dakota. 

The next night the expedition camped at Frog Point, now 


Belmont, and as had been the case before, everybody went to 
sleep, without outposts or other guards, and the next night three 
miles south of Grand Forks. A meeting was then called to con- 
sider necessary measures of safety, and as nothing seemed likely 
to be accomplished, Probstfield left the meeting, declaring that 
he would go no farther with them, but saying they could call him 
when his turn came to stand guard, if they determined to put out 
guards. He was called at five next morning to go on duty, and 
stood his trick, but refused to go further with the expedition. 
In the meantime they had learned that there were several hun- 
dred Chippewa Indians at Grand Forks, hungry and desperate, 
who were waiting to meet Governor Ramsey and others, who 
were to treat with them, but who had been delayed by the Indian 
outbreak. These Indians captured the expedition, took what 
they wanted to eat, but harmed none of the party, which went on 
to Pembina. 

Stephen Wheeler, who worked for C. P. Lull, who was keeping 
a hotel at Georgetown up to the time of the outbreak; William 
Tarbell; Ed. Larkens, known as "Lige," his wife, an Indian 
named Marceau and his wife; Mrs. Commisanze and Mrs. E. R. 
Hutchinson, remained with Probstfield. Lull, his wife and child, 
were with other settlers at Abercrombie. Mrs. Hutchinson was 
escorted to the barge and went on down the river with her 

The first camp on the way back was eight miles south of Grand 
Forks, and they made their way slowly, remaining several days 
at some places where the ducks and geese were abundant. When 
within eight miles of Georgetown, Tarbell went on alone to re- 
connoiter, telling the party not to come if he failed to return. 
The hours of waiting were long and anxious ones. The relief to 
mind was great when, just at nightfall, Tarbell returned, having 
been delayed by reason of the boat being on the Georgetown side 
and filled with water. It was after dark when they reached 
Georgetown, but the only harm done in their absence was by the 
train dogs to the sheep, all of which had been slaughtered. 

From that time on they led a humdrum life, not free from 
anxiety and alarm. On one occasion, especially, the dogs set 
up such a howling and barking, and kept it up so long, that there 


was little room to doubt but that Indians were about. In the 
morning the tracks of a dozen or more horses and mules ridden 
by the party were seen. They had passed directly through the 

The expedition which went to Fort Garry returned about the 
middle of October. A detachment of troops was sent down with 
them. Captain T. H. Barrett was in charge, and importuned 
Probstfield 's party to return with him to Fort Abercrombie, but 
they refused. 

That fall and winter Probstfield was in correspondence with 
General A. H. Sibley as to reinforcements for the frontier for 
the coming spring. Sibley urged him to remain with his family 
as an encouragement to others to return to the valley. He urged 
that the condition of the war in the South was such that troops 
must be sent south instead of being held for service on the fron- 
tier. Notwithstanding this correspondence, March 17 a detach- 
ment of troops came to Georgetown with orders from General 
Sibley to remove all of the settlers to Fort Abercrombie, with 
special orders to arrest Probstfield if necessary. The detachment 
was in charge of Lieutenant Tyler. But all were then glad 
enough to seek safety. Probstfield remained at Abercrombie 
until June 22, when, having some differences with Major G. A. 
Camp over a claim for a cow wantonly killed by a soldier, the loss 
of which Camp insisted he should bear as one of the misfortunes 
of war, he was given twenty-four hours to leave the fort. He 
left in six and went with his family to St. Cloud, arriving there 
July 4, 1863. He returned in the fall with Hatch's battalion, to 
take charge of his hay, which the army appropriated, and, as in 
the case of the cow, Major Camp refused to approve the vouchers, 
and the claim is still unsettled. 

Mr. Probstfield became helpless from rheumatism and re- 
turned to his family in St. Cloud, returning to the valley in May, 
1864, and took charge of the hotel at Georgetown, and the next 
year took charge of the post, where he remained until 1869, when 
he took up his residence in Oakport, where he now resides. 

Oakport became the principal point of interest on the Red 
river in 1871, until the crossing of that river by the railroad was 


Proving up on his land in 1871, Mr. Probstfield moved to the 
mouth of Red Lake river, East Grand Forks, renting his hotel 
to Major William Woods, who joined the Jackman expedition 
to Bismarck in the race for that town site, and left without 
warning, in May, 1872, and Mr. Probstfield was compelled to 
return and take charge of it, his family returning in November. 

The first county commissioners of Clay county, then known 
as Breckinridge, were R. M. Probstfield, E. R. Hutchinson and 
Richard Banning. This was in 1860, but owing to the Indian war 
the organization lapsed. The name of the county was changed 
to Clay, and it was not again organized until the Northern 
Pacific railroad reached the Red river. 

Mr. Probstfield has served the public as assessor, treasurer, 
clerk, school director, county commissioner, member of the 
senate, and in other capacities, and notwithstanding his well- 
known integrity and patriotic services, was twice defeated for 
the legislature, but is consoled by the reflection that there is no 
disgrace in defeat. 

The Oldest Settler. By Edward Griffin. 

Forty years ago the country was given to town site specula- 
tion. Title being secured to government land, from the railroads 
in some instances, a town site would be laid out and lots put on 
the market for sale, a thousand miles away. Very often the 
formality of securing title was dispensed with. Government land 
was platted or imaginary tracts laid out, and advertisements 
sent broadcast over the country, offering lots free for the expense 
of making the deed and recording. Many of the towns were in 
good faith, and gift lots were placed because it was believed 
that good would be accomplished by that means. 

North Dakota had then been occupied by Indian traders for 
many years. There were no settlers for agricultural purposes. 
The Red River valley was already famous for its richness of soil 
and for its vast herds of buffalo. 

In June, 1858, Walter Hanna, Robert David and myself left 
Hastings, Minn., and on the 4th day of July arrived at a point 
on the Red river seven miles south of Moorhead, at a point after- 
wards known as East Burlington, and there we laid out a town 


site. Fort Abercrombie was laid out in August of that year. 
That year our party sought refuge for the winter, in connection 
with a town site party from St. Paul, at a point called Lafayette. 
Charles Nash, Henry Brock and Harry Myers were employed to 
hold that town site. Bottineau had three men holding a town 
site on the Dakota side at the mouth of the Sheyenne river. 
Harry Banning, Eichard Banning and George Myers were hold- 
ing a town site at Banning 's point, one mile south of the Shey- 
enne. George W. Northrop, the famous scout, with a trapping 
party, was holding a claim one mile north of the Sheyenne, mak- 
ing fifteen men within three miles of each other on what was then 
the extreme frontier. Christmas day was duly celebrated by the 
town site neighbors. 

In the spring of 1859 the steamboat Anse Northup was built 
at Georgetown. E. E. Hutchinson, who still lives at Georgetown, 
came that year and helped to build her. E. M. Probstfield raised 
cabbages and made sauerkraut and got comparatively rich on 
the high prices he was able to secure for his products. The Anse 
Northrup made the first trip to Abercrombie in June that year. 
The Hudson Bay Company established their post at Georgetown 
in August, 1859. Eobert McKenzie, who was frozen to death in 
1860, was in charge. Edward Connolly, Adam Stein and Lewis 
Lewiston were in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company. I 
helped Adkinson make improvements where Moorhead now 
stands, in 1859. Charles Slayton and wife came to the valley 
July 15, 1859. Slayton built a house one mile north of Moor- 
head, but left in 1861. Lewis Lewiston built a house in 1860, 
where Moorhead is now, which was known as Burbank station, 
and raised 100 acres of oats in 1861. This was the first crop of 
oats raised in the valley. He was in Abercrombie with his wife 
and children during the memorable siege in 1863, when Edward 
Wright was killed. William Eounsvel came in 1860, and built 
half a mile from Probstfield 's. Zere B. Slayton settled one mile 
north of Moorhead, and the first white child born in the valley 
was in his family, April 20, 1861. That year the valley was 
flooded. There was only about 100 acres where Moorhead is 
that was not covered with water. The water was two feet deep 


in the Slayton house, and seemed to cover the whole country on 
the Fargo side. 

Edward Buckmaster came in 1864 and stopped at McCauley- 
ville. Three men were killed by the Indians that year seven miles 
south of Moorhead. Jud. Stebbins and one other escaped. In 
1862 I went to Hastings and joined the Minnesota Mounted 
Eangers and served fourteen months in Company G and was on 
the Sibley expedition and in three battles. In September, 1862, 
the Indians killed a family of five at the old crossing on Otter 
Tail river. One old lady left for dead literally crawled fifteen 
miles to Breckinridge, living on frogs several days, suffering 
almost untold horrors on the trip. George Whitford left George- 
town afoot and alone for Abercrombie in 1862, and has never 
been heard of since. He was supposed to have been killed. 

George Northrop was on a hunting party with Sir Francis 
Sykes in 1861, and received a present of a gun from Sir Francis 
valued at $200. The next year he was out with another hunting 
party. The Indians surrounded them, took their guns and cloth- 
ing from them, and sent them back from the Devils Lake country 
in Indian costume. Northrop plead for his gun, but they 
took it in. 

July 5, 1863, Sibley 's command arrived at the big bend of the 
Sheyenne. It was unmercifully hot and dry. The ground was 
without a particle of moisture, and the grasses parched. One 
of the men went out as a water witch and with a crotched stick 
located a spring on the dry, hard prairie, which was opened by 
digging only two feet. It was here that Fort Eansom was located, 
and the spring is said to supply pure, fresh water to this day. 

During much of that campaign the men were compelled to 
cut grass in the sloughs with jackknives for their animals. When 
the expedition came back in the fall they found rich, green grass 
about six inches high all along the Maple and other points in 
Cass county, from heavy rains during their absence. I crossed 
the Eed river at Abercrombie that fall on foot without wetting 
ray feet, the river was so nearly dried up, and the deepest place 
in the upper Mississippi was not to exceed three feet. The 
winter of 1863 was so open that 200 condemned horses from the 
Sibley expedition wintered on the prairies, without a mouthful of 


food being provided for them, and came out tat the next spring. 
The summer of 1867 was also a very dry one ; most of the lakes 
were very dry. But in July the heavens were opened and a 
rainfall came that raised the smaller lakes about five feet. 

In 1869 they had another blizzard. They did not come very 
often, and never lasted over three days, but they attended to 
business while pretending to be on duty. David McCauley and 
Mr. Hicks, for whom Hickson was named, were with me during 
the storm. Hicks employed a dog train to take him back home 
to Alexandria. It took McCauley a week to get back to the fort 
at Abercrombie. In the fall of 1870, twenty Norwegian families 
settled on Stony Brook and lived in dugouts that winter. They 
were all snowed under, but tunneled out and lived comfortably. 
Stony Brook is east of the river on the old Abercrombie 
stage road. 

I remained in the country trapping, hunting and trading, 
keeping stage station, etc. until I settled on a farm at Elm 
river in 1872, occupying one of the abandoned houses built by 
Lowell's townsite party in 1870, where I remained until I settled 
at Fargo. 

Forty years ago the two-wheeled wooden carts were in use 
for hauling Hudson Bay goods from St. Paul to Winnipeg, and 
rawhide harnesses more durable than ornamental were in general 
use. Dried buffalo meat and pemmican were sold by the pound 
in Hudson Bay stores. 

Walter Hanna broke the first acre of Red River sod, July 10, 
1858. The first acre of potatoes was raised by Richard Banning 
in 1860. The first job of threshing done in the valley was at 
McCauleyville in 1866, by David McCauley. The machine came 
from Osakis, Minn., to thresh thirty acres of oats. From 1864 to 
1870 David McCauley was the leading business man in the valley. 
The spring of 1864 McCauley purchased from the government 200 
barrels of pork at less than $1 per barrel and sold it for $20 to 
$40. In 1866 he furnished the government 1,000 tons of hay at 
$35 per ton. In 1867 he was the owner of the first steam sawmill 
in the valley, and was proprietor of the first store that dealt in 
general merchandise, and at the present time is a Red River 
valley farmer. 


In 1860 George W. Northrop escorted two ladies that came 
from England to Winnipeg. The conveyance was a flatboat. On 
the trip down, one morning a small party of Chippewa Indians 
fired several shots at him and his fair companions. George asked 
why and what reason they had for shooting at him. Their answer 
was: "You must not talk our enemy's language if you don't 
want to be shot at." The ladies were going to Winnipeg to make 
good their matrimonial contracts. 

In the summer of 1859, on the first trip the Burbank Stage 
Company made to the valley, between Dayton and Abercrombie, 
on the old half-breed trail, there was a great curiosity noted by 
the travelers. It was about two acres of buffalo bones, where 
there had been a buffalo hunter's camp a year or two before, for 
the purpose of making dried buffalo meat and pemmican. There 
were many theories advanced as to how the bones came there. 
One would say that they were killed by wolves; another, that 
they were frozen to death in a blizzard. Captain Blakeley, of the 
stage line, said: "Hell, they were drowned in one of the Red 
River valley floods." 

Forty years ago the Red River valley was as wild as nature 
made it. Today it is famed throughout the world and is the best 
known wheat-growing country. Forty years ago the buffalo, elk, 
bear, fish and game were relied upon by nature's children for 
food, and there was none to monopolize. 

Forty years ago the first frame building of the valley was 
erected. It was a two-story building at Breckinridge. To-day 
the country is studded with cities and farm houses and raises 
annually 50,000,000 bushels of wheat. 

Will the Red River valley improve as much in the next 
forty years as it has in the past, is the question that has been 
often asked. Science, education and advancement go hand in 
hand and mother nature is our teacher and our guide. Science 
in the next forty years will cut a greater figure in farming 
than we think. Forty years hence farm machinery will be run 
by electricity; capital and labor will march with a steady step, 
side by side, and the valley will be one grand theater of enter- 
prise and beauty. Fargo will be a city that can boast of 75,000 


population and the generation unborn can look upon the present 
metropolis with pride. 

Note George W. Northrop was a sergeant in Company C, 
Brackett's battalion, and was killed in action on the headwaters 
of the Little Missouri, July 28, 1864. He received eight or ten 
wounds, one of which pierced his heart. About 2,000 troops 
were engaged, the total loss was five killed and ten wounded, 
of which Brackett lost two killed and eight wounded. Sully 
reports from 100 to 150 Indians killed, and Brackett that he 
counted 27 in front of his command, besides seeing the Indians 
carry away many of them. Northrop was one of the most popu- 
lar of the noted frontiersmen, and before enlisting was employed 
as a guide by military expeditions, hunting parties, etc. 

Fort Abercrombie The Place of Refuge for the Early Settlers 

The Siege. 

Fort Abercrombie was established in 1858, on the west bank 
of the Red river, now in Riehland county, and about 15 miles 
from where Wahpeton is located. The post was abandoned after 
an occupancy of little over a year, and the property sold at a 
great sacrifice. It was rebuilt in July, 1860, under command 
of Major Day. In July, 1861, the major with his two companies 
were ordered to Washington. Major Markham with his two 
companies took command. In 1862 all full regiments were or- 
dered south to join the United States forces, and Capt. Inman, 
a Baptist clergyman, was the next in command, with companies 
from the Fourth regiment, stationed at Fort Snelling. He soon 
left for the front, crossing the Red river on the ice, and Captain 
Vanderhock, with two companies of the Fifth Minnesota Volun- 
teers, took command. On the 19th day of August, 1862, the 
Indian massacre began at the old town of Breckenridge, where 
the hotel was burned and a number lost their lives, among them 
one by the name of Russell. In one week the attack was made 
on the fort. The stage driver, Charlie Snell, was killed in the 
hotel at Breckenridge, and, a chain being fastened around his 
body, the Indians dragged it around the well with demoniac 
hate until a deep path was made by the repeated operation. 
The Saskatchewan and Fort Garry mail bags were gutted and 


the mail scattered in every direction over the prairie ; mail from 
the McKenzie river was also intercepted. The soldiers, with 
Judge McCauley, gathered up as much of the mail as possible, 
and it was forwarded to its destination. A family at "Old 
Crossing," on the Otter Tail, sixteen miles from Breckenridge, 
was attacked and a man by the name of Scott killed ; his mother 
was badly wounded, but was brought to the fort and cared for 
until she fully recovered. A boy about twelve years of age was 
captured by the Sioux and carried into captivity, but finally 
ransomed through the agency of a Catholic priest, and sent to 
St. Louis to his grandparents. It is reported that Mr. Stone 
and Judge McCauley were lodging together in the fort when 
there was an alarm that the Indians were about making an 
attack, and all were up and ready in a short time. None were 
more deliberate and thoughtful at this time than Judge Mc- 
Cauley, who got out of bed and carefully attended to his toilet, 
putting on his paper collar with excellent precision and correct 
adjustment of necktie, when the announcement was made that 
the alarm was false. "No doubt," he said, "I was impressed 
that it was unnecessary to hurry much. The judge has heard 
of his respect for toilet many times since ; it is a good joke, but 
he takes it all in good part. At this time some seventy persons 
had come to seek protection in the fort, and all were ordered to 
do military duty. A train of seventy teams with Indian goods 
and supplies that was going to Eed lake came to the fort for 
protection, and all the men were organized into a company. It 
was estimated that there were 1,500 Indians surrounding the fort 
waiting for a good chance to make a furious assault. For weeks 
there had been no mail from St. Paul or the outside world, and 
everybody was anxious to know the facts about the rebellion. 
A brave citizen by the name of Walter S. Hill offered to take 
the chances of carrying the mail to St. Paul, providing he could 
be furnished with a fleet horse and an escort of soldiers to pro- 
tect him until he was out on the broad prairie beyond the strip 
of woods on the creek east of McCauleyville. A call was made 
for volunteers to act as an escort, and thirty-two responded to 
the call. At this time there were Indians in ambush just across 
the river from the fort, and some had been using their sharp- 


shooters from the tops of trees. An attack on the outward bound 
escort was expected, but all was still and not the turn of a leaf 
was heard. Hill was soon flying toward St. Paul with his fleet 
charger, loaded with news from afar for many anxious ones who 
had become weary of looking in vain for many long weeks. Hill 
was successful in his undertaking. As the escort was returning, 
an attack was made on the brave thirty-two, and two of the 
number were shot, Edward Wright and a soldier by the name of 
Shulty, and the remainder scattered and came straggling into 
the fort as best they could. Mr. Shulty, when found, had his 
head cut off, also his arms and legs, and he had been disem- 
boweled by the incarnate demons, his head being coffined in the 
abdominal cavity. Mr. Wright was also badly mutilated, and his 
father was exceedingly furious at the post commander because 
he had not prevented the awful tragedy from taking place. At 
one time a party was organized to go and drive in stock that 
was some twelve miles below the ferry crossing. A half-breed 
Chippewa gave a war whoop which was well understood by the 
Sioux, and he was riddled with bullets. A Mr. Lull was in 
advance, and was shot through the leg. All turned back with- 
out venturing further. The firm of Harris, Whitford & Bentley, 
who were engaged in the transportation of goods from St. Paul 
to this point and thence by flat boat to Fort Garry, had a farm 
south of Abercrombie on the Minnesota side. This was in 1862. 
They put in the government herd fourteen yoke of oxen and 
eight head of horses for protection; but the wily Sioux sur- 
rounded and took possession of them, driving them to the Indian 
headquarters. The total number of the herd was three hundred. 
The first attack having been made, Mr. Whitford, in company 
with Mr. Harris, was killed on his way from Fort Garry to Fort 
Abercrombie. He had $5,000 of the Hudson Bay Company's 
drafts. This firm was ruined by loss of $14,000 ; afterward, how- 
ever, the government paid the company $9,000. The fort was 
besieged full seven weeks, when about two thousand men, under 
Captain Burger, came to relieve the imprisoned and strengthen 
the fort. On the return of a part of this force to St. Paul about 
seventy-five women and children were transported. It appears 
that Edward A. Stokes, the man who assassinated Jim Fisk, had 


been out on the plains hunting, and he came to the fort with 
others for protection, and was with the escort which was under 
military protection en route for St. Paul. Truly wonders will 
never cease! There were four companies left at the fort to 
protect it after the escort had left, which took place in October, 
1862. Captain Burger was relieved, and Major Camp took com- 
mand; he was shortly relieved by Captain Chamberlin of Hatch's 
battalion, who was finally superseded by General C. P. Adams, 
now of Hastings, Minn., who was in command until 1866. Then 
Major Hall, of the Tenth United States Infantry, took command 
and General Adams was ordered back to be mustered out of the 
service. The United States mail was carried under military 
escort until the year 1866. The fort was kept up until 1877, 
when it was abandoned, and in 1878 the government buildings 
were sold and scattered over the prairie, where, with repairs, 
they made homes for some of the early settlers. 

The following named persons were the post commanders at 
Fort Abercrombie from the time of its establishment until it 
was abandoned: General Abercrombie, Major Day, Captain 
Markham, Captain Inman, Captain Vanderhock, Captain Burger, 
Captain Pettier, Major Camp, Captain Chamberlain, General C. 
P. Adams, Captain Whitcomb, Major Hall, and General Slidell. 
Changes were frequent at first because all were needed South 
as fast as they could be spared. 

Nick Huffman was in the fort during the siege. Before his 
death he prepared the following facts for the Red River Valley 
Old Settlers' Association: 

''On my first trip to the Red River valley, early in the spring 
of 1860, four of us left St. Cloud, Minn., with the first stage 
coach that came through to Georgetown. The first day we 
reached a hotel kept by Baptiste Rounsvel at Cold Springs. 
The roads were bad and there were no bridges across the streams. 
We carried oats enough for the round trip. This obliged us to 
unload quite often. A fence rail was carried along to lift the 
stage out of the mud. Next night we found good comfortable 
quarters at a place kept by Mr. Stewart at what was called 
Stewart's crossing. We forded Sauk river two or three times, 
driving to what was then called West Union. There was no 


settlement then at what is now Sauk Center. At Chicos lake, 
Madson Gordon kept a station in a small shack. Fish was the 
principal article of food. The next day we reached Alexandria. 
The roads were if possible worse than they had been before we 
struck the timber. A Mr. Gregory, his wife and two sons, kept 
the station at Alexandria in a little log shanty. Van Dyke kept 
the postoffice and there was a man living there named Hugh. 
The next day we went to Evansville, where John Carter was 
building a station. We slept that night on the soft side of a 
board, but the supper was all that we could wish and we did 
it justice. We stopped next night about eight miles south of 
Fergus Falls, where Mr. Wright and four sons lived. Mr. 
Wright had a dam for a saw mill, built that winter before, which 
made excellent fishing, and we had plenty of sturgeon. 

"From there we went to Breckenridge, a mile or so from the 
present site. Here was Mr. Bentley, Mark Carpenter and Sam 
Carpenter at work on a big hotel. It was three stories and 
basement. I should think it was big enough for Chicago in 
those days. There was also a saw mill to cut the lumber for 
the hotel and they had men in the woods to get out the logs. 
Breckenridge was a decidely busy place. We left next day for 
Abercrombie, but the fort was changed, so we stopped with J. 
R. Harris in a small shanty where a man by the name of William 
Gilpatrick and an old Irishman was stopping and selling whiskey 
to the Indians, who, it was claimed, was afterwards drowned by 
the Indians. 

"We started for Georgetown the next day, but as it was too 
long a drive to make in one day we got supplies from Gilpatrick. 
About midway we found a townsite. There was a shanty, but 
no roof on it. It was called Burlington. (It was about the 
mouth of the Sheyenne and Ed Griffin, now at Fargo, was inter- 
ested in it. Ed.) That was the first night I ever slept out of 
doors without a blanket. We were a little short on supper and 
breakfast, but reached Georgetown next day all right. Here 
there were ten or fifteen men, Dutch, Swedes, English, French, 
Scotch and Indians, employed by the Hudson Bay Company. 
They had plenty of supplies and little to do but to eat. We had 
roast pork and other good things. After about a week they all 


went away but me and three others. We remained another week, 
when a new boss came up from Fort Garry. By that time I was 
good and tired of Hudson Bay Company employment and left 
on foot for St. Cloud, but only got to where Moorhead now is. 
Lewiston kept the stage station there. It was then called 

"I worked about a month here and then went south to what 
was called Campbell station. Stations had been built along the 
road and teams by the hundred were hauling freight for Fort 
Garry and Georgetown. The old steamer Ans Northrup was then 
making regular trips from Georgetown to Fort Garry. There 
was life and good pay everywhere. John Campbell and Bill 
Kerr was batching at Campbell station. I got work and good 
pay haying. Captain Munn sent for me to work on the steam- 
boat, which they then called the Pioneer. There was no pleasure 
in this, as the water was low and the men had to haul on the 
lines all day and chop wood all night by lantern, and we had a 
hard time to get the boat to Georgetown. 

"There was an old steamboat lying in the Minnesota river 
six miles below Big Stone lake, which was intended to come 
over into the Red river in 1857. There was a big flood in the 
Minnesota river and Captain Davis thought he could run the 
old Freighter, for that was the name of the boat, into the Red 
river, but the waters went down and the boat was left stranded. 
The boat was sold at sheriff's sale and was bought by Burbank 
of the stage company. There was a Welshman left in charge of 
the boat and here he stayed nearly four years away from wife 
and children with nothing to eat, only what he could hunt or 

"In the fall of 1860 we took a lot of teams, wagons and tools, 
under orders from Burbank, and took the boat to pieces and 
brought it to Georgetown. We found the boat and the little 
Welshman all right. His hair had over three years' growth 
and his whiskers were long. You may be sure his clothes were 
not of the latest fashion or in first-class condition. Coffee sacks, 
window curtains, etc., had been used to keep him covered. We 
divided up our clothes with him, but they were not good fits, 
as he was so small. 


"A second trip was necessary for the machinery. There were 
two big boilers, but we brought them safely to Georgetown, 
where the boat was rebuilt. We did not reach Georgetown till 
after Christmas with the last load and the weather was very cold. 
The water was bad and the men suffered a great deal. There 
were then several hundred head of oxen at Georgetown used in 
freighting and we took a new outfit and went to Alexandria and 
hauled freight to Georgetown, to be sent on down the river the 
next summer to Garry. The roads were bad, there was a heavy 
crust on the snow and many of the men were snow blind. Many 
of the cattle died on the road. We got back, however, just 
before the spring break up in 1861. 

"That spring was very high water, the whole valley was 
flooded, and there was hardly any land in sight. There were no 
crops that year, but plenty of hay. We all went on the boat in 
the spring, with Captain Brand, Pilot John K. Swan, and the 
usual crowd of 'rousters.' We run by day and chopped wood 
by night, as the Indians did not allow any wood choppers to 
stay on the river, and so the boat had to get its own wood. The 
Indians owned the whole country then. It was steamboating 
under difficulties, as the Indians were inclined to be hostile and 
took everything from the settlers. The whole crew soon gave 
out and had to quit. We built a saw mill, and in 1861 boat 
building became a leading industry at Georgetown. That fall I 
went back to my old friends Campbell and Kerr and helped them 
in haying, and then went to St. Cloud. I staged all the next 
summer from Campbell's station, until the Indian outbreak of 
September, 1862. 

"We were twelve miles north of Abercrombie at the stage 
station when we heard that the Indians were getting on the war 
path, but old frontiersmen are not apt to believe Indian rumors, 
especially if they come from immigrants. However, Campbell 
and myself were in the habit of sleeping on the prairie some 
distance from the house, but Kerr used to sleep upstairs in the 
house we had built that summer. He would go up stairs and 
pull the stairs up after him and we thought all safe. In daytime 
we would go about our work. One night a courier came from 
the fort and warned us that the Indians were killing everybody 


in the country, so we picked up our household goods and our 
cattle and got everything ready to go to the fort that night, 
but we only got about half way when night came on and we had 
to stop. We got but little sleep and went on early to the fort, 
where there were men working for J. K. Harris. I went to see 
my old friend Russell, who was at the crossing the year before, 
but he had rented a big hotel at Breckenridge. Scott was run- 
ning the old crossing place. Scott was killed by the Indians. 
The next day I started for Breckenridge. No one had seen any 
Indians yet. When we got to Breckenridge two blood-thirsty 
fellows were in the house. They were the first I had seen for a 
long time. I told the people that the Indians were killing all 
of the whites and they had better go with us to the fort, but 
they laughed at me and said I was foolish. The Indians made 
them believe they were to have a big dance and were coming 
for that purpose. Russell had three men working for him. One 
of them had a wife and two children. The woman was cooking 
and the men haying, much hay being required, as hundreds of 
teams were engaged in freighting for the government and the 
Hudson Bay Company. 

"I proposed to kill the two Indians in the house and to take 
the woman and children to the fort. By this time we could see 
the Indians across the river, coming toward the house. We got 
the woman and children to come with us, but neither Russell 
nor the men would go. The woman and her husband, the chil- 
dren and their father parted as they would if only to be sep- 
arated for a few hours. I have been sorry a hundred times that 
I did not kill the two Indians as I proposed to do. I think it 
might have saved the life of Russell and his three men. 

1 'We got to the fort and reported what we had seen and 
a party was organized to go to Breckenridge. Ten of us 
started out on horseback under the guidance of a half-breed 
because we hoped we might yet save our friends. It was 
late when we got half a mile from Breckenridge. In cross- 
ing a cooley our horses began to snort and the breed got off 
to see what was the matter. He said they had killed an ox and 
from appearances we were about to fall into a trap and advised 
us to go back. 



''We returned for another start in the morning, as it was 
then very late. They then took a government mule team and 
some spades and shovels to fortify in case of need. I was on 
guard and so could not go with them. They found Russell and 
his companions had been butchered by the Indians. Rounseval, 
the half-breed, told me they had dragged their bodies around, 
up and down the stairs, and about the premises by means of a 
chain from the well, which they hitched to their feet, until there 
was little left of them. The hotel, partially completed, was never 
finished. I have never been in Breckenridge since. 

"While the boys were engaged in burying the remains they 
thought they could see an Indian in the saw mill, so Rounseval 
went to see if that was the case. The mill was half a mile away. 
He found an old lady by the name of Scott, who had been living 
with her son. Her son was killed and her grandson taken pris- 
oner. She had a bullet wound in her breast and had crawled 
on her hands and knees sixteen miles to the mill. She also told 
the boys where they would find the body of Joe Snell, a stage 
driver, three miles out from Breckenridge. They buried the 
body of Snell and took the old lady to the fort. On the way in 
the Indians attacked them and killed the teamster, named Ben- 
nett, and came very near taking Captain Mull's wagon contain- 
ing the old lady. But Rounseval made a charge and brought 
back the team, the old lady and the body of Bennett. They 
buried Scott the next day. 

"We had seen no Indians around the fort, but were fortify- 
ing and preparing for the attack which we all felt must come. 
About fifty citizens were organized as a company under Captain 
D. T. Smith, quartermaster, I Company of the Fifth Infantry, 
and Captain John Vanderhorck's company, "D," I think, con- 
stituted the garrison. The fort was hard to fortify. There was 
a stockade along the river. The headquarters was on the prairie. 
Also the quarters for one company. We fortified the company 
quarters, using the barrels of pork and corn beef and flour in 
part for the purpose, with cordwood and earth. The women and 
children and the sick and the picket guards also had special pro- 
vision made for them. The wagons were strung in line and the 
little four-pounders were made ready for action. Headquarters 


were abandoned at night and most of the officers roomed where 
the sick woman was. 

''We had not seen any Indians yet about the fort. We had 
a longing for our old haunts. Campbell, Kerr and I took a mule 
team one Sunday to go to their ranch. Hiram Stone furnished 
the team. The boys left a lot of hay and I had left something 
under the hay that I wanted, especially as I had been working all 
day and standing guard all night. Some good brandy, therefore, 
seemed desirable, even if there was some risk in getting it. We 
got the brandy and started for the fort. When we got within 
about three miles of the fort we found the Indians had driven 
away all the loose stock belonging to the fort, including mules, 
horses, beef cattle and the stock of the settlers. This included 
a big drove of beef cattle on the way to Grand Forks, where the 
governor and Major Collins were to exchange them with the 
Red Lake Indians for the Red River valley, including the country 
as far west as Devils Lake, east to Thief River, north to Pembina 
and south to about where Halstead now is. 

"Seeing the Indians from an opening in the timber and 
thinking they had captured the fort we felt pretty blue, but 
meeting some of the boys at Whiskey creek we learned that they 
had simply raided the stock. They came near the fort. Those 
in the fort remained to protect the women and children rather 
than save the stock, thinking that a trap might be set for them. 
They let the Indians have the beef and we got along very well 
with salt pork. 

"The captain doubled the guard. This put nearly every 
man on duty and increased the difficulties of our situation. We 
made a high stockade of cordwood and barrels of pork and beef, 
which was to be the last resort in case of our failure to repel the 
attack, but as good luck would have it we held the fort during 
the siege, which lasted about six weeks. 

"The first attack was in a day or two after they drove the 
stock away. I will never forget the occasion. They came upon 
us before the break of day. When they gave the first volley on 
our pickets it was yet dark. None were hurt. They made an 
attack on the barns located south of the fort. The hay was near 
the barns, two of which were built of poles and hay. The others 


were dug-outs. There were a good many horses in the dug-outs. 
All of the best ones were here, as the Indians drove off all that 
got on the prairie. The Indians made for the barns and fired 
the hay and the straw stables. It was our first battle. We were 
poorly armed and no discipline. The orders were to fall in line 
on the parade ground when attacked, and await orders. So there 
was where we went, but what orders could be given in the ex- 
citement of that moment? The bullets were flying everywhere, 
the Indians were whooping and yelling and the men did the 
most natural thing in the world. Every man made a break for 
himself, some running to the barns and others to the old saw- 
mill, which stood north of the fort close to the river ; and so we 
scattered in all directions, but anyway our boys were not slow 
in getting back to the stables. It was the horses the Indians 
were after, but they did not get many. They got into the stables 
and we were after them. When I got there Edward Wright was 
having a tussle with one of them. Wright run his bayonet 
through Mr. Lo 's leg and had him pinned to the floor. I finished 
him by putting a bullet through his heart. That is the only 
Indian I could say for sure that I killed, but I have shot at a 
good many." 

Here the story as written by Huffman's own hand ends. The 
siege lasted six weeks. There were many exciting attacks and 
many soirees during those weeks of anxiety. 

Winship Hotel Budge 's Tavern. 

When Pembina was little, before Grand Forks, Fargo and 
Moorhead were born, George B. Winship strayed in from the 
south via Abercrombie, and Billy Budge from Scotland via 
Hudson's bay, and meeting at Pembina in 1871, where George 
was engaged as clerk in the sutler's store, they concluded to 
form a partnership and enter into business. They selected a 
point on the stage line between Grand Forks and Pembina known 
as Turtle river, where they erected a log cabin and put in a 
list stock of those things essential to life for man and beast 
and opened up a hotel. The old-timers all credit them with hav- 
ing kept an excellent stopping place, one of the best on the line, 
and both were popular and have since prospered in this world's 


goods. Winship conducts the leading daily and owns the best 
business block in the state. He has served his city in various 
capacities and represented his county in the state senate. Budge, 
too, has been in public life. He was a member of the constitu- 
tional convention and owns an elegant home. Budge is inter- 
ested in banking and milling and everything else that tends to 
build up the state. Both have interesting families who, with all 
others, will doubtless enjoy the following amusing account of 
their early exploits condensed from a sketch by Clarence Web- 
ster, in the Chicago Inter-Ocean in 1886. 

After erecting their cabin, which was the only human habi- 
tation in 1871 between Grand Forks and Pembina, unable to 
agree on the name for their place, as the story runs, they agreed 
to label it " Winship 's Hotel," so as to meet the view of those 
coming from the south, and that "Budge's Tavern" should be 
the sign displayed for the observation of those coming from the 
north. They disagreed in many things, but united in one, "We 
are not here for our helth" was to be conspicuously printed on 
a card to be hung on the wall over the fireplace. "God Bless 
Our Home," and others of that nature were not fashionable 
then. The early settlers were practical sort of fellows, who be- 
lieved in informing people just where they were at and what 
was expected of them. 

Budge was an expert in turning the flapjacks, while Winship 
was equally good as a valet de chambre at both house and barn, 
Budge assisting, however, between meals. Both were excellent 
collectors and usually insisted that there must be an understand- 
ing as to the pay before any of the supplies had been consumed. 
It is said that they each warned the travelers not to pay the 
other, resulting in occasional loss on the grounds that it was 
unsafe to pay either. They had a monopoly and like all monopo- 
lists were independent and when there were any objections to 
paying $2 for flapjacks a la Budge and stable accommodations 
a la Winship the fortunate objector was invited to read the card 
over the fireplace and move on. Sometimes Budge suggested 
that the man who objected to paying a dollar for a white man's 
meal could fill up on marsh hay at half price. 

It sometimes happened that objections were made to the 


economical spelling of the word health in the sign upon the wall. 
If the kick was made to Budge he added a half to the bill for 
extras. If it was commented on before Winship, with great 
presence of mind he always remarked that the proofreader must 
have been drunk as usual when they went to press with it. 

Neither proposed to allow the other to get ahead of him. 
They made a nightly division of the cash and had a definite 
understanding as to the division of labor. Each in turn was to 
build the fires, and in order that there might be no mistakes 
they arranged a calendar and placed at the foot of the bed. 
Commencing with B. W. B., alternating with W. B. W., there 
were thirty sets of initials, representing each day in the month. 
When Winship had built the fire he rubbed out the last initial 
and Budge did the same when it came his turn. The crossed 
letter always settled the question as to who was to get up next 
time and indicated the day of the month. 

One morning Budge got up and built the fire, cancelling the 
B. It was a roasting fire, made especially for a temperature of 
30 below. The frail chimney, built of sticks and mud, sur- 
mounted by a barrel, caught fire. Soon the fire spread until 
Winship 's end of the building was burning at a lively rate. Win- 
ship poked his elbow in Budge's side, he having fallen asleep, 
who, thinking that a mule had kicked him, yelled, ''Whoa." 
Another nudge partially awakened him, when Winship said, 
"Billy, she is afire again." Budge protested that he had spoiled 
the slickest dream that he had ever had and that he would have 
had it all fixed in a minute more if he had been left alone, besides 
he didn't see why he should be disturbed. He wanted to sleep. 
''The fire is spreading," said Winship. "Better get up and 
put it out while you can do it easy. It is your turn to get up." 

"It ain't my turn to get up," said Budge. "The B. is crossed 

"It is your fire," said Winship, "you built it, you had better 
put it out. It's getting too hot." 

Budge insisted that the fire was Winship 's by right of dis- 
covery and he must take care of it. 

Higher leaped the flames, closer and closer it came to the 
Scotchman, who was insisting upon his rights to sleep undis- 


turbed after building the fire. His own part of the shanty was 
ablaze. Coals were dropping down on the robes under which 
they had been sleeping. Winship drew the robe over his head. 

Finally Budge proposed that they both get up. ''That is 
reasonable," replied Winship, "why didn't you think of that 

They both got out. Some of the bacon and other things were 

By this time Grand Forks had begun to grow. Both went 
to the Forks and entering on separate lines succeeded in business. 

Winship sometimes undertakes to tell the story and Budge 
tries to correct the proof, but giving up in despair, simply writes 
on the margin, "There are other liars in the valley besides 
yourself. ' ' 

The Guests of God. 

"Why should we wear black for the guests of God?" 

From the dust of the weary highway, 
From the smart of sorrow's rod, 
Into the royal presence 
They are bidden as guests of God. 
The veil from their eyes is taken, 
Sweet mysteries they are shown, 
Their doubts and fears are over, 
For they know as they are known. 

For them there should be rejoicing 
And festival array, 
As for the bride in her beauty 
Whom love hath taken away 
Sweet hour of peaceful waiting, 
Till the path that we have trod 
Shall end at the Father's gateway, 
And we are the guests of God. 

Mary F. Butts, in Youth's Companion. 

James Anderson DeLaney, who died at his home in Grafton 
April 2, 1902, at the age of 75 years, was born March 17, 1827, 


in the north of Ireland, that refuge of Huguenots when so cru- 
elly driven from France. His father was a descendant of these 
exiles. His mother, . Mary Anderson, was of Scottish descent. 
He was brought to America while a young child, growing up on 
the banks of the St. Lawrence. He early went to Philadelphia, 
where he was apprenticed to learn coach building. Returning, 
he embarked in a successful mechanical business in Peterboro, 
Ontario, where, at the age of 23, he married Miss Anne Wilson. 
His prosperity was interrupted by an unfortunate fire. Undis- 
mayed, he began again in Smith's Falls, where, by help of older 
sons, he soon acquired a fortune. Another disastrous conflagra- 
tion swept away his gains and he then determined to seek a 
new venture in the West. Thus in '78 he became a member of 
the pioneer band in the "land of the Dakotas." He aided ma- 
terially in founding Grafton, selling the townsite as surveyed. 

At the mature age of fifty-four he applied himself to reading 
law and was admitted to the bar in the United States court at 
Washington, D. C. 

Having lost his companion some years since, he married a 
lady near his own age of New England birth, who happily cared 
for and cheered the last declining years of his life, in which 
he has suffered much but very patiently. She, with his four 
adult sons, survives him. Mr. DeLaney expressed himself as 
fortified and supported by the Christian's hope. 

Funeral services were held at his home in Grafton April 4th. 
His remains were sent to Grand Forks for burial in the family 
plat, where a monument already stands. Revs. Twichell, Mc- 
Donald and Newcomb officiated. The pall bearers were Messrs. 
James McDonald, J. L. Cashel, Peter Cooper, H. H. Mott, Provost 
and J. A. Douglas. 

Biographies of Old Settlers Deceased Continued. 

Charles Turner Cavalier (by Hon. George B. Winship). Yes- 
terday morning there was profound sorrow in Grand Forks when 
the news was received of the death of Charles T. Cavalier, of 
Pembina, a man known to every old settler in the Red River 
valley. Charles Turney Cavalier died at his home in Pembina 
at midnight on Sunday, July 27, aged eighty-four years, four 


months and twenty-two days, and thus passed to the great beyond 
the earliest white resident of North Dakota, and also one of the 
earliest and oldest of the settlers of Minnesota. 

Though naturally suffering to some extent from the infirmi- 
ties of advancing age, yet his mind was bright and he was phys- 
ically active to the very last. His last illness was only twelve 
hours, and a few minutes before his death he was upon his feet. 
He ate his usual breakfast on Sunday morning, and on Saturday 
was walking about town, though not feeling very well. 

He had no desire to live longer. He felt and often expressed 
himself that he had lived his life and could be of no further 
use in the world, though he was willing to wait until he was 
called. He died as he would have wished, without that long con- 
finement on a bed of suffering, which would have been so irksome 
to one of his active outdoor habits. 

A complete history of Mr. Cavalier's life would be a history 
not only of North Dakota, but would include that of the whole 
of this now great Northwest; for when he started westward, 
Illinois was the frontier state and Chicago had a population of 
only 5,000. 

The following short sketch is intended mostly as a matter 
of dates, and the reader will be able to realize from these how 
large a part this modest, kindly old pioneer has taken in laying 
the foundations of these great states of Minnesota and the 
Dakotas : 

Mr. Cavalier was born in Springfield, Ohio, March 6, 1818, 
and was the son of Charles and Rachel (Trease) Cavalier, natives 
of Maine and Pennsylvania. He attended public schools until 
he was seventeen, and then removed to Mount Carmel, 111., and 
learned the saddler's trade. He came west, down the Ohio, via 
St. Louis, then a city of 18,000, by steamboat, and thence up 
the Mississippi to St. Paul, landing there in May, 1841. The 
succeeding year he went through the Minnesota wilderness to 
Fond du Lac, near the present city of Duluth. St. Paul at that 
time was a village with a church and a few French people. At 
Minneapolis a government sawmill was operated by soldiers from 
Fort Snelling. Mr. Cavalier opened the first harness shop in 


St. Paul. A few years later he sold out the harness shop and, in 
company with Dr. Dewey, established the first drug store. 

November 6, 1849, Governor Ramsey appointed Mr. Cavalier 
territorial librarian, which position he held until October, 1850, 
when he was appointed by President Millard Fillmore as col- 
lector of customs for the district of Minnesota and inspector 
of revenue for the post of Pembina. In pursuance of this ap- 
pointment he came to Pembina, and crossed the Red river on 
August 16, 1851, so that at the time of his death he had been 
here nearly fifty-one years, and over sixty-one years since he 
landed at St. Paul. 

While the duties of collecting revenue at that early period 
were not in themselves very exacting, yet Mr. Cavalier's position 
was really far more than a simple collector of revenues. He was, 
in fact, a sort of general government agent among a large popu- 
lation of semi-nomadic half-breeds and wandering Indian tribes. 
The feuds of the rival fur companies and private traders, the 
Sioux massacre, the subsequent events, the first Riel rebellion, 
the political organization and the opening up of this valley to 
settlement and commerce, were all incidents of Mr. Cavalier's 
leading position as a government official and early settler. 

Mr. Cavalier occupied the position of collector four years, 
and then turned his attention to trade. He had a store for a 
time at Walhalla, and also at Fort Garry, returning to Pembina 
in 1864, where he has since resided. In that year the first post- 
office was started and Mr. Cavalier was appointed postmaster, 
which office he held until 1885, when he was succeeded by his son, 
E. K. Cavalier, who is the present postmaster. 

In addition to his official duties, Mr. Cavalier was also asso- 
ciated with Commodore Kittson and W. H. Forbes at one time, 
and with Messrs. Kittson, Culver Farmington and Sargent in 
the fur trade for many years. These years were doubtless the 
most exciting ones in a life replete with adventurous incident. 
It was during this time that he made regular trips to St. Paul 
with trains of from 80 to 100 pelts. These trips were long and 
wearisome and often dangerous from bands of roving Indians and 
standing stampeding herds of buffalo. 

Mr. Cavalier in 1863 returned to Pembina, he having, in the 


discharge of his business cares, resided both at St. Joseph, about 
thirty miles to the westward, at the foot of the Pembina moun- 
tains, and at Winnipeg. The original plat of the city of Pem- 
bina was laid out by Mr. Cavalier, and this was added to in the 
shape of an extensive addition in 1878, when railroad connec- 
tions with the centers of trade showed the need of enlarging the 
limits of the city. 

In his earlier days Mr. Cavalier was a regular correspondent 
of the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D. C. His sketches 
of pioneer days and graphic descriptions of scenes and charac- 
ters are the delight of his friends and neighbors and the old set- 
tlers generally. These sketches, which have been mostly for 
local papers, are in the plain, blunt, straightforward and to-the- 
point style of the western plainsman, but have a deep under- 
current of humor wholly his own. 

Mr. Cavalier married Miss Isabella Murray, of Kildonan, 
Man., March 13, 1857. Five children were born to them, of 
whom there survive Edmund K., Albert D. and Lulah Cavalier, 
who with their mother reside at Pembina. 

The funeral was held on Thursday, services being held at 
Grace church, Pembina, at two p. m. Many old friends of Mr. 
Cavileer from Grand Forks and other points in the state attended. 

Alexander Griggs, "the Father of Grand Forks," was widely 
known in the Northwest. He was born in Marietta, Ohio, in 
October, 1838, and was the son of William and Esther Griggs. 
He removed with his parents when a boy to St. Paul, Minn., and 
later his family removed to Grand Forks, where his parents died. 

In December, 1865, Mr. Griggs was married to Miss Ettie I. 
Strong, a native of Brooklyn. 

Mr. Griggs was reared and educated in St. Paul, but at an 
early age began running on the boats of the Mississippi river, 
and at the age of twenty had been promoted to the command 
of a boat. He continued there until 1870, and then in company 
with others went to the Eed river with a view of establishing a 
line of steamers to ply between Winnipeg and Fargo. In 1871 
the company was organized and was known as the Hill, Griggs 
& Co. Transportation & Navigation Company. This year he went 


to where Grand Forks is now located and entered a claim to 
the land on which is now located the old town of Grand Forks, 
he giving it that name on account of the junction at this place 
of the Red Lake river with the Red River of the North. He con- 
tinued to run a line of steamers on the latter river between Grand 
Forks and Winnipeg until 1890. 

He was always active in the upbuilding of his adopted home 
city and state ; was one of the founders of the Second National 
Bank, and was the active president for many years. He was 
also president of the First National Bank of East Grand Forks 
for a number of years, establishing the gas works of the city in 
company with William Budge, and was a large owner of shares 
in the Grand Forks roller mills. He served the state as railroad 
commissioner for some years, was the third postmaster of Grand 
Forks, and was mayor of the city. His active, energetic life and 
public spirit endeared him to the people of the city and state, and 
his counsel was always eagerly sought. In December, 1892, on 
account of failing health, he left here and located on the upper 
Columbia river, where he established a line of boats for passen- 
ger and freight transportation service. The change of location, 
however, failed in its object, the regaining of health, and he suc- 
cumbed on the 25th of January, 1903. 

John R. Jardine was born at Haysvale, Ontario, January 22, 
1846, his parents having emigrated to this place from Dumfres- 
shire, Scotland, during the previous year. In 1850 the family 
removed to Bruce county, Ontario, where Mr. Jardine remained 
until he came to Fargo, N. D., March 12, 1880. At Fargo, that 
same year, his only child, John A. Jardine, was born. When 
first coming to Fargo, Mr. Jardine took a homestead, but devoted 
his time to bridge construction, being one of the best known 
bridge-builders in the state. He died at Fargo, July 11, 1906, 
after a brief illness, suffering from an abscess, which was not 
thought to be serious until the morning of his demise. He was 
a member of the Presbyterian church and a prominent Mason. 
He was one of the sturdy Scotch pioneers, whose word was 
always as good as his bond. 

Dennis W. Driscoll was born at Guelph, Ontario, on Septem- 
ber 22, 1849, and was the son of John J. and Julia Driscoll, 


natives of Canada. His father died during Mr. Driscoll's infancy, 
and in 1856 he removed with his mother to Detroit, Mich., where 
he received his early education. In 1870 he removed to Boone 
county, Iowa, where he worked at the potter's trade until 1875, 
when he removed to La Crosse, Wis., and engaged in the farm 
implement business. He came to North Dakota in 1879 and 
located at Pembina, where he became a member of the firm of 
Johnson, Holmes & Co., agricultural implement dealers. 

When Walsh county was formed in 1881, he went to Acton 
in the interests of the company, and later in the same year he 
took up his residence in Grafton, where he lived up to the time of 
his death, with the exception of about six and one half years, 
which he spent on his stock farm in Acton from 1890 to 1897. 

In 1882 Mr. Driscoll was married to Miss Clara K. Hogg, a 
native of Nova Scotia. 

Mr. Driscoll's sterling qualities were recognized by his party 
in 1898, and he was nominated and elected to the office of state 
treasurer, which office he held for one term, filling it with hon- 
esty and fearlessness to a degree that has seldom been equaled, 
and never excelled in this state. At the time of his death he 
was treasurer of the Old Settlers' Association, which association 
he helped to organize. He was a member of the Presbyterian 
church and belonged to the Masonic fraternity, being a charter 
member of Grafton Chapter, E. A. M. During late years he had 
followed the real estate and insurance business, and was always 
foremost in the projects tending to the betterment of our city 
and the surrounding country. 

Mr. Driscoll passed away from this earth to that land from 
whose bourne no traveler returns, on Saturday evening, February 
4, 1904, at his home in Grafton, and none of all those who had 
known him during life has a word save of respect for him living 
and regret for him dead. His life as a public servant, as a 
private citizen, and as the head of a household, was above re- 
proach each act of his life being the page of an open book, the 
story of a life well lived. 

Mr. Driscoll had been in failing health for six months previous 
to his decease, the immediate cause of his death being heart 


William Campbell was a native of the isle of Islay, Scotland, 
being born there in 1826, and resided with his parents there until 
he was about fourteen years of age, when, with a brother, he 
came to Canada, working in and near Collingwood, and when of 
sufficient age he took up land near that place, which he farmed 
a number of years. 

In 1879 he removed with his family to Pembina county, he 
and his sons taking up land north of Bathgate. He was a hard- 
working man, careful in business transactions, and successful 
beyond the average, gaining a competency and retiring from 
active farming operations in 1897. He was taken with heart 
failure in February, 1906, and on the 30th day of March, 1906, 
died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Charles H. Lee, at Wal- 
halla, N. D. Mr. Campbell was greatly respected by all who 
knew him, and he was sought by many for his advice. In sick- 
ness he was always first at his neighbor's and last to leave. Hun- 
dreds of friends in Pembina county regretted his death and have 
reason to remember the kindly, sympathetic old friend. 

William J. Anderson was born in Elgin county, Canada, May 
20, 1854. He was reared and educated in Le Sueur county, 
Minn., going there with his mother, and in 1862, on account of 
the Indian troubles in Minnesota, they moved to St. Paul, where 
Mr. Anderson attended the public schools. He followed various 
callings until 1875, when he came to Grand Forks as the agent 
for the Red River Transportation Company, and the following 
year was elected justice of the peace. He continued with the 
transportation company until 1879, and the following year was 
appointed receiver of the Grand Forks land office. He opened 
the office April 20, 1880, and worked in that capacity eight years. 
He then began the study of law and was admitted to the bar 
in 1887. 

He was elected county auditor in 1888 and served four years. 
He was an efficient and popular public official. He was elected 
mayor of Grand Forks in 1890 and served two years, and he 
always proved himself worthy of the confidence placed in him 
by the people. He was one of the judges at the World's Fair 
Columbian Exposition in 1893, in the agricultural department. 


He was married in 1879 to Josephine Russell, a native of Wis- 
consin. Two children were born, Raymond G. and Virginia E. 

About a year before his death Mr. Anderson was appointed 
deputy auditor in the postoffice department and took up his resi- 
dence at Washington, D. C., where he died suddenly on Feb- 
ruary 9, 1906. He left a widow and one daughter, Mrs. Fred I. 
Lyons, of Bowbells, N. D., and a son in Washington. 

Mr. Anderson was a member of the Masonic fraternity, being 
a Knight Templar, and he also held membership in the Knights 
of Pythias, of which order he was deputy grand chancellor at 
one time. 

Politically he was a Republican, and had been identified with 
the movements of that party during his entire career. He had 
been president of the Old Settlers' Association of the Red River 
Valley, and was one of the best known citizens of the state. 

William Ackerman, auditor of Grand Forks county, died 
shortly after seven o'clock last night, at the family home on 
Chestnut street. 

While this announcement had been anticipated for several 
days, it was no less a shock to the citizens last night when it 
was announced that the dean of the court house official family 
had been summoned to his long home. 

Familiarly known as "Bismarck," from the fact that he was 
a native of Germany, Mr. Ackerman probably enjoyed as wide 
an acquaintance as any man in the county, and the announce- 
ment of his death will carry sorrow into every home in which he 
was known either personally or because of his long service to the 
county, covering a period of eighteen years or more. 

"Bismarck" Ackerman was one of God's own noblemen, a 
splendid type of man who came to a new country at an early age, 
fought for his adopted country through the Civil War and at 
its close re-enlisted for a service that covered almost a score of 
years, carrying him through the period of Indian outbreaks that 
characterized the early settlement of North Dakota, he being 
located with his regiment at Fort Abercrombie for several years. 

Had Mr. Ackerman lived until August 20 of this year he 
would have been sixty years of age. He was born in the Grand 



Duchy of Hesse, Germany, and came to this country when quite 

He enlisted in the volunteer service in New York state, in 
Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-first N. Y. Volunteers, on 
November 20, 1863, and was honorably discharged July 26, 1865. 
Immediately at the close of the war of the rebellion he re-enlisted 
in the regular army, being stationed at Fort Abercrombie for 
several years, and later going to Texas, where he served as a 
clerk at department headquarters. His final discharge from 
the army was on March 3, 1885, and shortly after that time he 
came to North Dakota and located at Larimore, where he lived 
several years. From there he went to Lakota, where he assisted 
in opening the books of Nelson county. He came to Grand Forks 
in 1887, and his first employment was in the office of the register 
of deeds. From there he went to the office of the clerk of the 
district court, and from there to the office of the county auditor, 
being appointed deputy auditor by W. J. Anderson. In that 
capacity he served until 1900, when he was elected county 
auditor, being re-elected at the general election last year. 

Mr. Ackerman was married while stationed at Fort Aber- 
crombie to Miss Martha Anderson, who survives him, together 
with seven children Mrs. George Nelson, William C., E. C., 
Andrew, Ella, Nellie and Earl, the youngest thirteen years of age. 

Every member of the family was at home when the final 
summons came, making the first break in the household circle. 

Mr. Ackerman was a prominent member of Willis A. Gorman 
Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he served in various 
official capacities. He was department commander for North 
Dakota and was adjutant for several terms. He was also a 
member of the Masonic lodge, as well as the Elks and Eagles, 
being the first president of the latter lodge. 

His discharge from the Civil War service shows that he was 
engaged in the battles of Fish Bend, Sabin Crossroads, Pleasant 
Hill, in Louisiana; Harper's Ferry, Md. ; Berry ville, Misher's Hill 
and Cedar Creek, in Virginia. 

Mr. Ackerman was a man of the strictest integrity, a capable 
official, and a man who had aided during his residence in the city 


in every act that helped to build up the municipality, serving for 
nearly a dozen years as a member of the city council. 

In his death the city loses a good citizen, the county a capable 
and painstaking official, and his family a kind and indulgent 
husband and father a man who was wrapped up in a family 
that now has the entire sympathy of the citizens of county and 
city in their bereavement. "Grand Forks Herald" of May 
17, 1905. 

John D. Wallace settled at Drayton, N. D., in 1881, and until 
two years ago had been one of the most prominent and best 
known citizens of Pembina county. He was a man strong in body 
and strong in mind. In public affairs of his own town, county 
and state, he took a leading part. In addition to numerous 
municipal and school district offices, he served two terms in the 
legislature and two terms as county judge of Pembina county. 
He was a strong supporter of the prohibition law and all laws 
that tended to uplift the public socially and morally. He was 
a member of the Methodist church, and here, as elsewhere, he 
was an earnest worker and leader. In every respect he was a 
manly man. As a friend, he was one who was always steadfast 
and to be depended on. He was open and above board in all 
his dealings, and every one might always know where he stood, 
politically or upon any other question. In his home town no 
man was more alive to local interests or tried harder to build up 
the city. He was always a good citizen, and entered heartily 
into all good enterprises. 

In the latter part of his life here he was stricken with a kid- 
ney trouble. The news from California reports that he suffered a 
minor operation from which he had about recovered when kidney 
trouble set in and he died in a short time. 

In California he has two brothers, Albert and Frank, and a 
sister, Mrs. R. H. Young, wife of a former editor of "The Pem- 
bina Pioneer Express." His immediate family consisted of four 
boys by his first wife, a daughter, Mrs. Dr. Healy, of Grand 
Forks, and a boy and girl by his second wife, who survives him. 
Two of Mr. Wallace's sons were soldiers in the First Minnesota 
in the Philippines, and a brother was killed in the war with Spain. 
As a husband and father Mr. Wallace was particularly kind and 


loving, and spared no pains to give his children the best possible 
education. Mr. Wallace was an honored member of the Masonic 
order and was also a Workman. He was made a Mason in the 
Pembina lodge, and afterward assisted in forming the Drayton 
lodge as a charter member. 

A good man has gone. 

James H. Bosard was born at Osceola, Pa., April 21, 1845, and 
died November 1, 1907. He was a son of Colonel Andrew K. and 
Hittie Bosard, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter 
of New Hampshire. His father was a farmer and cabinetmaker 
and was assistant provost marshal in Pennsylvania during the 
rebellion. He was a colonel of the Pennsylvania state militia 
for some time. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and 
served in the war of 1812 as a non-commissioned officer. James 
H. Bosard was educated in the public schools of his native state 
and graduated from the Pennsylvania state normal school. After 
graduation he taught school for two years in New York, and in 
1868 began reading law in the office of M. F. Elliott at Wells- 
borough, Pa. He was admitted to the bar in 1870 and engaged 
in the practice of law for seven years as a partner of Elliott. 

Mr. Bosard came to Grand Forks in May, 1879, and had been 
a resident of the city and engaged in the practice of his profes- 
sion here ever since. He had long been recognized as one of the 
foremost members of the state bar, and had been identified with 
much important litigation. He was also in constant demand 
as counsel in outside litigation. He was state's attorney of 
Grand Forks county in 1891-2 and city attorney of Grand Forks 
in 1894-5. 

Mr. Bosard was for several years the honored president of 
the North Dakota Bar Association, and was for some time also 
vice-president for North Dakota of the National Bar Association. 

Mr. Bosard was a lifelong Eepublican and took an active 
part in the councils of his party. He was a forceful and enter- 
taining platform speaker and his services were always in demand 
during a political campaign. He was the Republican nominee 
for district judge in 1904, but was defeated by Judge Fisk. 

Mr. Bosard engaged in farming, besides looking after his 
extensive law practice, and made a specialty of dairying. He 


was widely known as one of the leading breeders of Jerseys in 
the Northwest. He was one of the directors in the State Fair 
Association and of the Grand Forks County Agricultural Asso- 
ciation. He devoted largely of his time and ability towards pro- 
moting the success of these enterprises. 

Mr. Bosard was a member of the Masonic fraternity, having 
passed the Knight Templar degree, and was also a prominent 
member of the Foresters. 

Mr. Bosard was married in 1872 to Miss Rebecca Faulkner, 
of Erie, Pa. He leaves a widow and six children Florence H., 
now Mrs. J. Sidle Lawrence, of Los Angeles, Cal. ; Robert H., 
now practicing law at Minot ; Helen D., now Mrs. diaries Farns- 
worth, wife of Major Farnsworth, U. S. A., stationed at Fort 
Wayne; Gerald F. ; Sarah K., now Mrs. Ray Jackson, of Grand 
Forks, and Daphne. 

Rev. John Scott. Few names are better known to the pioneer 
residents of the Red River valley than that of the Rev. John 
Scott, who was for years engaged in ministering to the spiritual 
wants of the early residents of the northern part of the present 
state of North Dakota. Mr. Scott was born in Northumberland, 
England, December 22, 1824. He came with his parents to 
Canada, the family locating in the county of Durham. After 
attending school there he engaged in teaching and provided 
himself with means to enter college. He graduated from Hamil- 
ton College, and then offered himself to the Presbyterian Board 
of Missions for missionary service. He was appointed to take 
charge of the field at Bath, Canada. He was married just before 
commencing his work, and through more than a half century of 
missionary effort his wife labored with him in missionary work. 
He remained at Bath for six years and was then sent to Napance, 
where he was stationed eighteen years. Emerson, Manitoba, was 
his next appointment, and he was in charge there for ten years, 
preaching also part of the time at Pembina. He became a resi- 
dent of North Dakota in 1884, preaching at Walhalla, and also 
occasionally at the military post at Pembina. From 1892 to 1894 
he was pastor at Pembina, when he was compelled by failing 
health to relinquish his pastorate. He devoted much time and 
zeal to the establishment of a sanitarium and hospital, but did 


not live to see his project realized. A hospital was established 
soon after his death at Hannah. 

In 1876 and for several years thereafter Mr. Scott was chap- 
lain of the military post at Pembina. He also frequently 
preached in the village, before there was any church there except 
the Catholic mission. William Moorhead was at that time the 
proprietor of a saloon known as the "Bobber's Roost." Mr. 
Moorhead threw open his saloon for his services, and Mr. Scott 
has remarked that he never had more attentive or courteous 
audiences to hear his preaching than gathered at Robbers' Roost. 
Mr. Scott frequently made preaching trips as far west as the 
Turtle mountains, making the journey of two or three weeks, 
usually with pony and buckboard. His stopping places en route 
usually included John Otten's, at Smugglers' Point, about twenty 
miles west of Pembina ; William Hyde 's, at Hyde Park ; 0. Neil- 
son 's, at Bay Center; and at St. Joe he was entertained by J. P. 
Mager, H. A. Mayo, Mrs. Emmerling and others. Later, while 
stationed at Walhalla, Mr. Scott was instrumental in securing 
ground for a cemetery and monuments to mark the resting-places 
of the martyred missionaries of 1852. 

Hon. John E. Haggart, deceased, formerly United States mar- 
shal for North Dakota, was one of the leading men of the state. 
He was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, April 19, 1846, 
a son of John and Mabel (Northrop) Haggart, also natives of 
the Empire state. The grandfather, Gilbert Haggart, was born 
in Glasgow, Scotland, and on his emigration to the United States 
located in New York, where he followed farming throughout life. 
The father was also an agriculturist, was major in the state 
militia, and was quite a prominent man in New York. He was 
twice married and had three sons. 

Reared on the home farm in much the usual manner of 
farmer boys of his day, John E. Haggart was educated in the 
country schools. In 1863 he entered the employ of the govern- 
ment in the coast construction corps, and spent about a year and 
a half with the Army of the Potomac, after which he returned to 
New York. In 1867 he came west and crossed the plains, start- 
ing from Leavenworth, Kan. The following winter was spent in 
southern Colorado and New Mexico, and he then came to what is 


now Wyoming, where he conducted a lumber yard for the Union 
Pacific railroad until 1870. In 1871 he landed four miles below 
the present city of Fargo, N. D., and in August of that year took 
up a claim on the Sheyenne river. He was one of the most 
extensive land owners in the state, having 1,960 acres in all in the 
home farm. He raised from 35,000 to 40,000 bushels of wheat 
annually, and in 1898 harvested 37,750 bushels. He was one of 
the thirteen to organize and put in operation the Fargo Southern 
railroad, of which he was a director. 

In 1875 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Haggart and 
Miss Betsy J. Hertsgaard, and to them were born nine children, 
as follows : Gilbert W., Mabel E., Maggie I., John C., Estella M., 
Alexander M., George E., William H. R., and Daniel. 

Mr. Haggart was the first man to be made a Mason in this 
state, being initiated into the order in 1873, from which time 
he was a Koyal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar, a thirty-second- 
degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of the Ancient Ac- 
cepted Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was a 
stanch supporter of the Republican party and served on the 
county and state central committees. In 1874 he was elected 
sheriff of Cass county, and filled that office for twelve consecu- 
tive years in a most capable manner. He was elected the first 
city marshal of Fargo, and in 1889 was elected to the state senate, 
of which he was a prominent and influential member until 1898, 
when he resigned to accept the office of United States marshal 
for North Dakota. He was well qualified to fill that office, as he 
had previously served as deputy for eight years. He filled a 
number of other public positions of honor and trust, being a mem- 
ber of the state prison board and other important boards. He also 
assisted in locating the agricultural college at Fargo, and did 
much to help that institution, introducing in the senate all the bills 
in its behalf, including the one on which the college has been 
erected. Himself a farmer, he early saw the benefits of such an 
institution, and there was not one who felt more closely asso- 
ciated with the institution than he did. As senator from the 
third judicial district he wielded an influence that secured its 
location at Fargo, and he bent every energy to the upbuilding of 
that institution. 


September 22, 1905, John E. Haggart passed from this life to 
that of rest, leaving behind a multitude of friends. His death 
was sudden and he is mourned by a host of sorrowing ones left 
to bless his memory. 

Major Alanson William Edwards was born in Lorain county, 
Ohio, August 27, 1840, and his father removed his family to 
Macoupin county, Illinois, in 1848. 

Major Edwards attended the county schools and was a stu- 
dent at McKendree College, Lebanon, 111., in 1856-7. After leav- 
ing school he was railroad and express agent and telegraph 
operator, and when the war broke out was the operator at Gilles- 
pie, 111., and one night, while he sat in his office, he heard the 
telegraphic instrument click off that famous message of General 
Dix, "If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot 
him on the spot." The event fired his patriotism, so that on the 
first call for troops, April 15, 1861, he volunteered, but was 
rejected, as he weighed some 300 pounds. He continued with the 
railroad company until 1862, when he enlisted and. went into 
Camp Palmer at Carlinville, 111. 

General Charles Ewing, who was a brother-in-law of General 
Sherman, then a captain in the regular army, was the one to 
muster in the One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, 
and young Edwards made out the muster rolls, a he was an 
expert penman. Captain Ewing inquired who had made up the 
rolls, and, on being informed, asked Edwards to read off the 
names as he watched the men move off. When the name of an 
absentee was called, there being no response, Captain Ewing 
would step up to Edwards' shoulder, put a check opposite the 
name on the roll, and when he filled out the muster rolls, would 
draw a red line through the names of all the men where a check 
mark appeared. Young Edwards took lunch with Captain Ewing, 
who told him he could not muster him into the army because of 
his weight, and so when it came to calling the roll of Company I, 
Edwards skipped his own name, and as there was no check mark 
opposite, he was duly mustered into the service by Captain 

Two years afterwards he was adjutant-general on General 
Vandeveer's staff, who commanded the district of Marietta. He 


had often met General Sherman and knew him well, and General 
Sherman and staff, which included General Ewing, came to the 
headquarters of General Vandeveer, and Sherman said, "Ed- 
wards, you know my brother-in-law, Charlie," and then, turning 
to Ewing, said : ' ' General Ewing, this is Captain Edwards. ' ' Gen- 
eral Ewing looked at Edwards and said: "No, I have never met 
the captain before." An hour or so afterwards, General Sherman 
and staff came to dine at the headquarters table, and General 
Sherman said: "Edwards, how is that about Charlie mustering 
you into service?" and the major told the story, which was 
greatly enjoyed by all, with the possible exception of General 

Major Edwards served in the western army as a private, be- 
ginning at Columbus, Ky. He was a clerk in the office of the 
adjutant-general of the district of Jackson, and for General G. M. 
Dodge at Corinth, Miss. 

In April, 1863, by order of the war department, General 
Dodge organized the First Alabama Cavalry from loyal refugees 
driven from their homes in the mountains of northern Alabama 
by Confederate conscripting officers, and Edwards was appointed 
lieutenant-adjutant and promoted to captain of L troop. He 
served with General Vandeveer as A. A. A. G., district of Rome 
and of Marietta, Ga., and was on Kenesaw mountain with Gen- 
eral Sherman when he signaled General Corse to "hold the fort," 
while Captain Flint, of Company E, First Alabama Cavalry, was 
aide to General Corse and wrote, at Corse's dictation, the answer 
about "losing his cheek, but able to whip all h 11 yet." 

On the march through Georgia to the sea, Major Edwards com- 
manded Company M of his regiment and for thirty-seven days 
did not draw a ration, but gained some fifty pounds in weight. 

At Savannah he was detached from his company by order of 
General Sherman and assigned to duty A. A. G. Ninth division, 
Fifteenth corps, and served with General Corse until after 
the grand review at Washington, being finally mustered out by 
order of the war department, July 11, 1865. He was breveted 
major by order of congress, March 18, 1865, "for gallant and 
meritorious service in the field." 

Major Edwards was present at the preliminary meeting of 


the officers of the Army of Tennessee to organize this society 
at Raleigh, N. C., April 25, 1865, and he became a member of the 
G. A. E. in Post No. 6 at Bunker Hill, there being only five earlier 
posts organized. 

He returned to his old Illinois home after the war and resus- 
citated "The Union Gazette" at Bunker Hill, a paper he pub- 
lished before going to the war, which suspended while he was 
away. In 1868 Major Edwards secured an interest in "The 
Carlinville Free Democrat," a Eepublican paper started by Sena- 
tor John M. Palmer, and was made warden of the Illinois state 
penitentiary by the governor for the term of 1871-2. 

After the big fire in Chicago he went into business in that 
city and was a member of the Board of Trade from 1875 to 1878. 

He went to the Black Hills in 1876, going out via Fargo, and 
returned to this city in 1878 and started "The Fargo Eepub- 
lican," being associated with Dr. J. B. Hall. He later sold "The 
Eepublican" and started "The Daily Argus" in 1879. 

Territorial Governor Pierce appointed Major Edwards super- 
intendent of the semi-decennial census of Dakota territory in 
1885, and in 1886 he was elected mayor of the city of Fargo. 

He was largely instrumental in organizing the original board 
of trade in the city of Fargo in 1879, and was its secretary for 
some time. 

He helped to organize the Fargo Southern Eailway Company, 
which organization constructed 122 miles of road from Fargo to 
Ortonville, and was elected secretary and assistant manager. The 
road was built in 1883-4 and is now a part of the Milwaukee 

Major Edwards was a member of the first board of the North 
Dakota penitentiary and was made its president and directed the 
construction of the nucleus of the present building. 

He was elected a member of the state legislature in 1895 and 
received credit for maintaining the prohibition law, though strong 
efforts were made to secure its repeal. 

Major Edwards left "The Argus" in 1891 and started "The 
Daily Forum," November 17 of that year, in connection with 
Mr. Plumley, and in 1894 "The Forum" purchased "The Eepub- 


liean," the first paper started by the major, and the two were 

In March, 1902, the major was made American consul-general 
at Montreal, which position he resigned July 1, 1906, in conse- 
quence of poor health, and returned to Fargo, where he has since 

The major married at Carlinville, 111., in 1870, to Elizabeth 
Kobertson, and they have six sons and one daughter, all living. 
The sons are Harry Goodell, stenographer for the district court 
at Fargo; William Eobertson, advertising manager of "The 
Forum"; Alanson Charles, living in New York city; John Palmer, 
assistant manager of "The Forum"; George "Washington, musi- 
cal instructor in Danville (Ky.) Female Seminary; Eichford Eob- 
erts, collector in this city; and the daughter is Marie Eosenfeld 
Belknap, who also resides in Fargo. 

Major Edwards had always taken much interest in politics 
and was known as a hard fighter. He once said: "I know no 
reason to be ashamed of my record in the war, or as a citizen. 
No man can be for something without antagonism. I am in- 
clined to a doctrine of being for my friends and the other 

During his residence of thirty years in Fargo, no one has done 
more to build up the territory, the state and the city than Major 
Edwards, and his death, which occurred February 14, 1908, was 
sincerely mourned by an extremely wide circle of warm admirers. 
His work, however, lives after him. 


H. L. Bolley, 

Professor Botany and Zoology of North Dakota Agricultural Col- 
lege and Botanist and Plant Pathologist of North 
Dakota Experiment Station. 

Previous to the admission of North Dakota as a state very 
little had been done in the line of botanical investigation aside 
from the Pacific Railway surveys, which included a geological 
and biological section and record the observations and collection 
of a large number of plants characteristic of the Dakotas, as well 
as of the great plains to the southward. I find no account of 
any botanical collections within the state until 1889, when we 
have a short record made by A. B. Seymore, now of Harvard, en- 
titled "A List of Fungi Collected in 1884 Along the Northern 
Pacific Railroad." The list includes collections made under 
date of August 21 to September 23, and the points visited were 
the ones along the railroad from St. Paul to Sand Point, Idaho. 
The plants listed in this publication for North Dakota are taken 
from points near Fargo, Valley City, Jamestown, Bismarck and 
Mandan, and include the following groups: Chytridiaceae, Pero- 
nospereae, Erysipheag, Uredineae and Ustilagineae. The publica- 
tion, essentially a list, names some of the most important of the 
native rusts and smuts found in the state and is recorded in the 
proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, Vol. 24. 

The next regular collection of which we have definite record 
was undertaken by Prof. Patton, of the University of North Da- 



kota, and Prof. C. B. Waldron, of the North Dakota Agricultural 
College. During the summer of 1890, the Agricultural College 
established under the management of temporary board, and Mr. 
Waldron was hired to begin preliminary work. As there were 
no buildings or other equipments, the summer was spent in va- 
rious parts of the state, in company with Prof. Patton, making 
notes upon the native grasses. The collections made at that time 
are now a part. of the University Hervarium and formed the 
nucleus for the herbarium of the North Dakota Agricultural Col- 
lege and Experiment Station. This collection listed many of the 
native grasses of the state and was afterwards much enlarged 
by the collections made by Prof. H. L. Bolley and assistants in the 
years 1890-1893. This study of native grasses showed that the 
state was possessed of a very extensive generic flora of valuable 
forage plants. In all, as completed, the grasses of the state re- 
port for this collection up to 1893 showed some fifty genera and 
124 species. The collection was afterward developed to form an 
extensive herbarium collection at the Agricultural College, con- 
sisting of many duplicates collected from almost all the various 
topographic regions of the state, the object being, as quickly as 
possible, to learn the character of the native grasses before they 
should be disturbed by cultivation following the influx of set- 
tlers. Besides the herbarium specimens which have been of much 
value as exchange specimens in enlarging the herbarium, there 
was also made a bunch collection so taken as to show the root 
systems, leaves and fruits of each of the native grasses. These 
were photographed while fresh and cured in a dry room in the 
absence of sunlight, thus leaving the specimens their normal 
color. This fine collection was prepared for exhibit at the 
World's Fair in Chicago, by Prof. H. L. Bolley and Mr. A. B. 
Lee, then principal of the Fargo High School. The fair commis- 
sion prepared a beautiful set of oak cases and the collection was 
put under glass and attracted world wide attention. It was of 
special use to the state at that time in convincing the people of 
the eastern and southern states of the grass growing powers of 
our North Dakota prairies. 

At the University of North Dakota much attention has been 
given to the teaching of botany under able direction of Prof. M. 


A. Brannon, but this teaching work has been so exacting upon 
the working force that investigation has necessarily suffered. 
The same statement might apply to the others of the newer edu- 
cational institutions of the state. Prof. Brannon has published 
a number of botanical papers of considerable interest to students. 
One of the papers on the "Distribution of the Spermatophytes of 
North Dakota in Relation to the Drainage Basins of the State," 
was issued in the University Student in the year 1899. Prof. 
Brannon also published through the department of agrostology 
of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in the year 1897, a report 
upon grasses and forage plants of North Dakota. This report 
was afterwards reissued in the report of the North Dakota Com- 
missioner of Agriculture in 1898. A number of university pro- 
fessors have published many important papers upon matters of 
investigation in scientific journals, including "The Annals of 
Botany," "Botanical Gazette and Science." 

At the State Normal, Miss Perrine has made extensive collec- 
tions of plants of the state and built up a herbarium of consider- 
able interest, containing, besides a collection of the native plants 
of the state, many plant specimens, collected by Miss Perrine in 
other regions. 

A number of the best high schools of the state, including those 
of Fargo, Grand Forks, Larimore, Jamestown and Dickinson, 
are fairly well equipped and are now giving good primary train- 
ing in botanical science, which must eventually have a strong in- 
fluence upon the future of botanical investigation in this state. 

At the Agricultural College of North Dakota Prof. H. L. 
Bolley has been in charge of the botanical work since the per- 
manent organization of the college and experiment station. At 
that time Prof. C. B. Waldron at his own request was made 
horticulturist and entomologist of the college and station. Just 
previous to the time of organization of the institution the head 
of the botanical department was assistant botanist of the Indiana 
experiment station and chanced to receive from Prof. Seymore 
his interesting pamphlet upon fungi collected along the route of 
the Northern Pacific railroad and being, at that time, much in- 
terested in the rusts and smuts of cereal grains and grasses, the 
little pamphlet regarding the specimens found in North Dakota, 


associated with that of the extended grain fields which this new 
state was opening up, largely inclined the writer to consider the 
tender of the position now held at the agricultural college. 

Because of facilities furnished by the government agricul- 
tural experiment station, it has been possible to conduct some 
botanical investigations which have proven of much interest to 
the people of the state and, in some cases, the work has been 
effective in improving farming methods throughout the agricul- 
tural world. There has been one other element which has greatly 
aided in the development of these investigations, namely, the even 
quality of the soil on the experimental plots and the further fact 
that much of the land throughout the state is practically virgin. 
The writer quickly recognized in these conditions a new field for 
the study of plant diseases in regard to farm crops, especially 
cereals. These are grown on such an extensive scale and, as the 
lands are yet new it was comparatively free from crop disease 
characteristic of older states. For example, in the early nineties 
potato scab, rot and blight were to be found only in garden 
plots and where potatoes had been grown upon the same area 
for a number of consecutive years. It was easy, therefore, to 
plan experiments regarding the influence of certain chemicals 
as applied to soil and as applied to seed tubers, looking towards 
the determination of the cause of the disease and the means 
essential to prevention. The writer while at the Indiana ex- 
periment station, had already demonstrated that potato scab was 
of parasitic origin ; and under the fine conditions afforded by the 
experiment station plots in the new land of North Dakota, it 
was quickly demonstrated that the disease could be controlled 
by the use of proper seed tuber treatment. The results of these 
experiments, covering a number of years, are that practically all 
potato growers who practice intensive and extensive cultivation 
now treat their seed tubers either by the corrosive sublimate or 
the formaldehyde methods, originated at this experiment station. 
The original method of treatment was known as corrosive subli- 
mate method, in which one ounce of this chemical was used to 
each six gallons of water and the potatoes soaked for an hour and 
one-half before cutting. Later, after the formaldehyde treatment 


for smut was discovered, it was found also to be satisfactory for 
this work with potatoes. 

Few lines of botanical investigation have given economic re- 
turns to the people equivalent to those brought about by the de- 
velopment of the formaldehyde treatment of seed grain for the 
prevention of cereal smuts. It took continued investigation and 
experimentation covering a period of practically nine years be- 
fore the people of the northwest generally accepted the method 
proposed. It is now universally used by the cereal growers 
throughout the world. The treatment consists essentially in the 
moistening of seed grain over the entire surface with a solution 
of formaldehyde made at the strength of one pound to forty-five 
gallons of water. This treatment is now used for disinfecting 
all sorts of seeds, including flax, all cereals, garden seeds and 
grass seeds. It not only has been found effective against smuts 
but practically eliminates every other type of fungus disease 
which attacks by way of the seed at the time of germination. 
The treatment has largely replaced the original method of pre- 
venting potato scab. The only time in which the treatment is 
not effective is in the case of seeds which are internally attacked, 
as in the case of some of the flax diseases or when soil is already 
contaminated, as in the case of loose smuts of wheat and corn 
and potato scab on land badly infected. Continuous series of 
investigation, however, prove that if seed potatoes or seed grain 
is treated every year that these diseases finally disappear from 
the land. Extensive experiments were necessary in order to 
demonstrate the strength of solution which could be used with- 
out injury to the various types of seeds and still be destructive 
to the germs of disease. The formaldehyde treatment owed its 
discovery to the observed facts that treatments in previous use 
brought reduced yields and, in the case of oat smut, to the fact 
the spores of the disease were found to be inside of the husks. 
The effort was to find a chemical which would reach these with- 
out destroying the seed, trying a number of volatile oils and 
finally gases. This last line of work was so leading in its char- 
acter that formaldehyde, a gas in solution, was finally selected 
for trial with splendid success. 

One can get a fair conception of the money value of such 


experimental work by going out into the field of oats or of wheat 
and observing the percentage of stools which are attacked. He 
will there find, in the case of untreated grain, very often as high 
as 10 to 20 per cent of the oat crop destroyed. A very con- 
servative estimate would be 2 per cent for the average year, 
previous to the proper practice of seed disinfection. The annual 
value of the oat crop of the United States approximates $350,- 
000,000. The spring wheat crop of the United States approxi- 
mates 500,000,000 bushels per year and the winter wheat crop 
approximately 250,000,000 bushels. Stinking smut of wheat has 
been known to take 50 per cent of the crop and previous to the 
introduction of treatment, 2 per cent of the crop would be a very 
conservative estimate for damages wrought. The potato crop 
of the United States reaches annually the value of $200,000,000. 
The damage by disease known as scab may readily be placed at 
from one-tenth to one-twentieth of the crop where untreated. 
In treated crops the yield is increased at least one-tenth, includ- 
ing the extra value added because of the smooth character of 
the potatoes. 

The next important investigation of the Department of 
Botany of the experiment station, in point of time, was placed 
upon the disease of flax. Several types of fungus were discovered 
new to literature of diseases and methods of making use of the 
formaldehyde treatment for the prevention of this disease have 
been determined and are now in use by the farmers of the north- 
west ; indeed, by nearly every flax growing country in the world. 
Previous to these investigations, it was supposed that soil grew 
tired of the flax crop, becoming exhausted in its good elements. 
This theory has been wholly disposed of and people are grad- 
ually learning that the flax crop is no more destructive to the 
soil than other grain crops ; in fact, not quite so exhausting. The 
discovery makes it possible for the flax crop to become a per- 
manent one in any community. Numerous other lines of botan- 
ical investigation at the experiment station, though of lesser im- 
portance, add much to the knowledge of the farmer regarding 
crop rotation and production. The investigations upon tree feed- 
ing and tree medication have attracted much interest in the 
fruit growing regions and the organization of methods of field 


spraying for the eradication of mustard, king-head and other 
weeds without injury to the growing crops, it is believed will 
prove to be of even more an economic success in extensive cereal 
culture regions than has marked the development of the formal- 
dehyde treatment. It has been recognized that the treatment is 
absolutely reliable for the eradication of the common weed 
known as mustard. This alone means several millions of dol- 
lars to the farmers of North Dakota per year, and practically all 
other weeds which are wet by the solution are largely destroyed 
at the same time. While Canada thistle cannot be killed with 
one application, it is believed that the farmers have found in this 
method of attack a means which eventually will rid the land of 
this pest. 

Extended bacteriological studies have been made of the soil 
of North Dakota and the experiment station workers are now 
able to give forth quite definite information regarding proper 
means of handling the crop as to crop rotation, soil fertilization, 
etc. More time has been given to the study of the problem of 
rusting of cereal grains than to any other question. So far it 
has been impossible to name specific treatments which are as 
directly effective as those indicated for some of the other crop 
diseases. The knowledge obtained, however, is of none the less 
value. The rust of cereal grains, including flax, have been worked 
out fully as to their life histories, and extensive experiments 
have been conducted with a view to a statement of working prin- 
ciples of agriculture which will be most effective in controlling 
this destructive parasite. These ha;ve been published in outline in 
Bulletin 68 of the North Dakota Experiment Station and it is 
believed that, if the farmers practice the general principles there 
laid down, the rust scourges in this region will be very largely 
eliminated. The breeding methods advised indicate clearly that 
it will be possible not only to get flax which is resistant to wilt 
disease and soil troubles, but to procure wheats sufficiently resist- 
ant to rust to mature crops of seed unreduced in yield. 

It would be a matter of negligence on the part of the writer 
should he fail, at this time, to call attention to the many investi- 
gations being conducted along agricultural and horticultural 
lines upon matters of plant production which are essentially 


botanical in all features. Botanical investigation is no longer a 
narrow one embodying only the ideas of plant classification and 
indefinite philosophical teachings, but embraces all those fields 
of practical work which use plant materials or are concerned 
with the production of crops whether horticultural or agricultural. 
In the matter of tree planting in the state, the first experiments 
were gradually carried out under the "tree claim" act by settlers 
as best they could under the conditions. The writer has often 
heard this act of congress highly criticized as unfortunate and 
as having done little good. Personally, I am not of that opinion. 
A great many mistakes were made in the planting and some 
mistakes were made in selection of kinds of trees to be planted 
and doubtless many persons obtained land under the act who did 
not wholly fulfill the requirements. Nevertheless, to-day the 
state is dotted throughout the whole eastern half by many fine 
groves of trees, in part breaking the bleak winds of winter and 
certainly tempering the atmospheric conditions at many local 
points during the summer season. Furthermore, the eye does 
not of necessity now have to rest upon a bleak expanse of terri- 
tory. Over a larger portion of the state these groves may be 
seen in all directions and though they may not have quite reached 
the requirements of the law they stand as mute advisers to 
those who would like to add to the wealth and beauty of the state 
by further planting. Fortunately, the state and the general 
government has liberally provided for present and future inves- 
tigations in tree culture. At the Agricultural College continuous 
experimental plantations are , being placed and arrangements 
have been made for teaching and investigation in forestry at the 
Forestry School located at Bottineau. Prof. Waldron in the 
eighteen years in which he has been at work at the Agricultural 
College, has, I believe, demonstrated that North Dakotans need 
not have any feeling of fear in regard to the future of tree plant- 
ing and tree culture in the state. The college ground from this 
time forward will present an object lesson of the trees and shrubs 
which may be utilized and of the methods most satisfactory in 
developing them. In the lines of pure horticulture and vegetable 
growing, progress has been made and many kinds and varieties 
have been tested and developed and proved to be hardy and satis- 


factory producers of fruits and vegetables. Along agricultural 
lines numerous varieties of the different sorts of cereals have 
been tested and those which have given promise have been put 
under special breeding tests by the department of agriculture at 
the Agricultural College, and many new varieties more especially 
suited to the cropping conditions of the state have been bred 
and increased for distribution to the farmers of the state. 

Botanical investigations in the state it is believed may be 
said to have been not only productive in its results but progres- 
sive, and to be indicative of rapid and highly remunerative 
growth in the near future. 


Prof. J. H. Sheppard. 

The Red River Valley has not improperly been called the Nile 
of the New World. Nature set apart this valley in the making 
for a fertile country. The great glacier powdered and ground 
the rock substance into so fine a dust that it retains the moisture 
and preserves the plant growth in the splendid way that a clay 
soil and sub-soil always help the growth of small grain crops. 

The slopes and descents were such as to bank up the water 
in the great Lake Agassiz, so that the finest of the assorted 
particles that were being carried by the running water were de- 
posited for the soil of the Red River Valley. 

The geologist tells us that for a long time the water over- 
flowed south and drained off through the Mississippi River and 
its tributaries as it passed over the edge of a great basin where 
all current had ceased in it and the finest of the sediment had 
settled in the still water. Later when the ice receded by thawing, 
the water drained north through Lake Winnipeg and Hudson 
Bay. The glacial water from the higher lands thus deposited 
its finer sediment before overflowing the northern dam formed 
by the retreating ice sheet, thus causing another layer of deposit 
of the finest sediment which the slowest moving water carries in 

Conjecture alone tells us what next occurred, but it was 
probably not long before grass sprang up and clothed the soil 
with a verdure that annually turned back great tussocks of stems 
and leaves to decay and become incorporated with this fine 
.grained soil. This process evidently continued for ages, season 
after season, as few soils contain so much humus and decayed 



vegetable matter as that of the Ked River Valley. The highly 
plumed vetch and other leguminous wild plants, which still dot 
our unbroken prairies, must have entrapped air nitrogen season 
after season through the centuries, which have come and gone 
until the land was almost surcharged with that material so 
precious to the crop producer. 

The buffalo had his part in adding fertility by consuming 
the grass and other forage and by adding to the soil the last 
balance of the sum total of the fertility which he had taken from 
it when he left the world and his great brown carcass lay silent 
and spectre-like on the prairie. This mass of buffalo flesh and 
bones gradually returned to the soil the fertility which had been 
gathered; first by the flesh and skin decomposing, then the hair, 
the bones, and finally the hoofs and horns. Thus gradually year 
by year the deceased buffalo gave back the plant food ingredients 
which he had gathered up, in the economic and gradual manner 
followed by the modern benefactor, who is considered most wise 
in his offerings to charity. The badger, jack-rabbit, gopher, and 
multitudinous smaller beasts have added their pittance of fertility 
as time has passed in similar manner to that described for the 
buffalo, and while the quantity added by each individual may 
seem infinitesimal, in the aggregate it represents a large factor 
in the production of the highly fertile soil of the Eed River 
Valley. Our older settlers recall the time, when a man could 
sell his labor for good wages by gathering buffalo bones to be 
shipped east for commercial fertilizers, which must mean that the 
entire fertility of which these are the last remnants must have 
been no mean factor in the source of supply. 

The Hudson Bay Fur Company established trading posts at an 
early date and while this very indirectly concerns the agriculture 
of the valley, it aided by proving to all men that it was possible 
to live with a considerable degree of comfort in this section 
of the country. 

A Scotch gentleman Lord Selkirk purchased Red River 
Valley land in 1811 and the following season sent a colony of 
Scotch refugees to settle upon it and engage in agricultural pur- 
suits. They experienced great trouble with the Indians and with 
the fur trading companies, as both looked upon them as intruders. 


In 1817 Lord Selkirk came to the colony bringing them agri- 
cultural implements and seed grain. The season was far advanced 
when he arrived and while the settlers broke land and seeded 
grain, the season was too far advanced and the conditions too 
severe to secure a crop, and the records state that they moved 
to the vicinity of Pembina where the hunting was good to 
spend the winter. The following spring they returned to Fort 
Garry, the point which they had left the previous season, pre- 
pared the land and sowed a crop. The grain sprang up in a 
manner which gladdened the hearts of this much vexed pioneer 
band, but a swarm of locusts settled down upon it and destroyed 
every vestige of it in a single night. These locusts laid their eggs 
in the soil of Selkirk's land and as a result were more numerous 
in the year 1818 than they had been the previous season. The 
growing of crops was consequently impossible. Again this colony 
moved to Pembina to live upon the products of the chase. 

That season Lord Selkirk purchased two hundred fifty 
bushels of seed grain from the United States and brought it in 
for the use of the colonists. This wheat cost Lord Selkirk a 
thousand pounds sterling. He secured the seed wheat together 
with some seed oats and barley at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 
and transported it from that point to Fort Garry, by boat. The 
boat was brought up the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers to 
Lake Traverse and from there into Big Stone Lake, where through 
good fortune the water was unusually high, so that the passage 
was safely made. From that point the shipment passed down the 
Red River to old Fort Garry, where it was received by the 
Scotch settlers with great rejoicing. This shipment of wheat 
is said to be the original source of supply of the Scotch fife wheat 
of the Northwest. The seed was sown by the colonists in 
1820 and brought a good crop the first grain crop produced 
in the Red River Valley. 

This stubborn Scotch colony remained and prospered in the 
region of Fort Garry and their descendants are said to occupy 
that portion of the Red River Valley to this day. 

The plows of that time were crude, being of the old British 
type and constructed entirely of iron. They were also of unusual 
length, measuring from ten to twelve feet from the tip of the 



iron handles to the extremity of the beam. The share is said 
to have been shaped like a mason's trowel and the net results 
of the efforts of the colonists with this crude implement has well 
been called a "scratched" soil. 

The success of the Selkirk colony was such that after the 
season of 1820, they were never without wheat enough to supply 
the Hudson Bay Company for their outposts, what they needed 
for their own use, and to allow them to follow the frugal plan 
of retaining enough for food and seed to carry them over a two 
year period, in case a second scourge of locusts should overtake 

Their grain was cut with sickles and bound with willow withes. 
The colonists followed the old country practice of stacking their 
grain in the barnyard, vying with one another in the excellence 
of the stacks produced and casual visitors report that in calling 
at their homes, you could not fail to be impressed with their 
great thrift upon seeing wheat, oats, barley and field peas snugly 
stacked in their barnyards. They threshed their grain with 
flails during the winter season and cleaned it from the chaff by 
the laborious winnowing process. Later in their experience they 
were so thrifty as to supply flour to the settlers, who established 
themselves at points further south in the valley. Their mills 
were run by wind power and their bolting apparatus was very 
crude, but their patrons were delighted with the source of 
supply and they had no difficulty in affecting business arrange- 
ments nor in selling their products. 

In 1851 another settlement was begun in the Red River Valley 
at Pembina. On this date, Mr. Charles Cavalier arrived and 
induced a number of persons to settle a colony in the vicinity 
of Pembina. There is said to have been only four white men in 
the community and nearly two thousand halfbreeds represented 
the balance of the settlement. The halfbreeds were descended 
from the Hudson Bay employees, who had been working in this 
country for half a century at that time. 

Charles Cavalier set out promptly to learn all he could from 
the Selkirk settlers and after visiting nearly every family en- 
gaged in farming in the community, he pronounced it the most 
prosperous and want-satisfied settlement which he had met. He 


stated, however, that the French halfbreeds at Pembina, pro- 
ceeded on the basis of never carrying a surplus and otherwise 
intimated that they were rather unthrifty. Mr. Cavalier states 
that he counted fifteen windmills used for grinding flour in the 
Selkirk settlement in 1851. He also states that while the bolting 
apparatus was not of the best, that the flour was sweet and made 
bread of a very high quality. It thus seems that as early as 1851, 
the flour from the Scotch fife No. 1 hard wheat made a favorable 

The Pembina settlement secured a supply of No. 1 hard seed 
wheat, oats, barley and field peas from the Selkirk colony, in 
addition to a supply of flour. The flour was sold to them at ten 
shillings per hundred weight. 

Scourges of grasshoppers occurred in the settlement occa- 
sionally and were very severe. Wild pigeons, blackbirds, and 
other feathered visitors took toll from their grain crops according 
to the reports, but they state that the soil produced abundantly 
and there was enough grain for all. Thus the Red River Valley 
seemed at this early date and with the crude tillage given by 
the halfbreeds to have proved itself capable of producing crops 
in great abundance and of impressing those who were the bene- 
ficiaries of its fruitfulness. 

For a time the Pembina settlers in most part adopted a very 
simple and short system of crop rotation, if it may be dignified 
by that name. In any event, the plan supplied them with a 
reasonable amount of food and was suited to the ideas of the 
large halfbreed element of the population. Their cropping system 
consisted in planting potatoes and caring for them until late 
summer, or until such time as the buffalo herd would be in good 
condition for slaughter. The entire settlement would then effect 
an organization, elect or choose some of the older men as officers, 
send out a detachment of scouts to locate the buffalo herd and 
upon their return with a favorable report, set out to secure a 
supply of meat for their families. The officers or captains were 
mounted on their poorer horses and it was a rule of the organiza- 
tion that no man should advance faster than these officials, which 
plan gave all members of the organization a chance to get a 
supply of buffalo to take home. They advanced cautiously until 


they got near the herd, then at the signal, each man set out after 
them, securing as many as he could. The matter of deciding who 
the carcasses belonged to, which were left on the prairie as each 
hunter pursued the herd, killing one after the other, was rather 
readily determined by their being in continuous strings or lines. 
According to their records, at least, there was no trouble in 
making their settlements. Bargains were frequently made during 
the hunt, when a hunter with a poorer or slower horse could come 
up to one who had a larger detachment of buffalo ahead of him 
than he could hope to kill, by which the unfortunate secured the 
right to aid in the slaughter for a specified sum and receive half 
of the product from that time forward. A procession of Bed 
River carts followed the hunters and after slaughter was com- 
pleted, the buffalo were dressed and the meat loaded into the 
carts and taken back to Pembina, cured and put down for future 

At the proper time the potatoes were dug and pitted in prep- 
aration for winter. Latet* in the fall, after this process was 
completed the buffalo hunt was again put on, after which the 
season's work was completed. This three crop system of rotation 
enabled the early Pembina settlers to live with no uncertainty 
as to a supply of food and they subsisted in comfort if not in 

In the early fifties a mail route was established between 
Fort Garry, the Selkirk settlement, and Fort Abercombie and 
was soon extended to Breckenridge. The mail stations enroute 
mentioned south of Pembina are Frank La Rose, Twelve mile 
point, Bowesmont, Longpoint, Hugh Biggiotoff, Kelly point, 
Turtle River, Jo. Caloskey, Grand Forks, John Stewart, Buffalo 
Coulie, Frog Point, Goose Prairie, A. Sargent, Elm River, John- 
son, Georgetown, Hudson Bay Company, Oak Point, 24 mile 
point, McCouleyville, and Breckenridge. This mail route was 
made by dog train and while there were settlers at each point, 
no grain was grown at any of the above named stations and 
contractors hauled their feed supplies from St. Cloud. 

This bit of history affects agriculture to the extent that it 
shows the lack of faith of the early settler in the capacity of 
the Red River Valley soil to produce a crop and possibly also 


in the live stock in the form of dogs, which were used as motive 
power by the mail-carriers. These dogs were graded in price 
according to their intelligence and capacity. They were driven 
in three dog-tandem teams and a good leader was worth $20.00, 
while dogs not thus capable were worth $10.00 or less. 

In the early sixties, General Sibley was sent by the War 
Department to drive the Indians back on the Minnesota frontier, 
where they were harrassing the settlers. He did so and after 
finishing his season's warfare, wrote up a brief report of his 
expedition, in which he went out of his way to say, of this plains 
country, which at least included the Red River Valley: "It is 
fit only for the Indians and the devil." 

In 1899, the writer met J. C. Simpson, then Mayor of Fremont, 
Nebraska, who related that in the fall of 1871, he was in Moor- 
head, Minnesota, then the end of the Northern Pacific road. He 
heard the conversation of business men there and in St. Paul, 
and stated that it was the general opinion of conservative busi- 
ness men that the soil of the Red River Valley was sour, cold and 
of no value for agricultural purposes, other than grazing. While 
in Moorhead, a soldier from Ft. Abercrombie strolled into the 
hotel carrying a common grain sack in his hand and after standing 
about in the bar-room for a time, poured out about a peck of 
vegetables, radishes, beets, onions, etc., of very fine quality, on 
the floor saying, that he had grown them at Ft. Abercrombie. 
The guests of the hotel were very much interested and crowding 
about the soldier, looked over the vegetables in great surprise. 
Their exclamations were very pointed and in the case of some 
there was evident doubt of the statement that he had actually 
grown them at Ft. Abercrombie. A little later a man who was 
slightly under the influence of liquor approached the soldier and 
said: "You say you grew those vegetables at Ft. Abercrombie?" 
"Yes." Again he repeated the question and was answered in 
the affirmative. Then with an oath he said: "If you say you 
grew those at Ft. Abercrombie, you are a liar." Upon hearing 
which the soldier whipped out a revolver and sent the doubter 
to another world. Mr. Simpson was a revenue collector at the 
time and must have been a man of more than ordinary judgment, 
and he like the rest was surprised and even doubtful as to 


whether any soil in the Red River Valley would ever produce 
crops of value in the form of those exhibited by the soldier. 

In the fall of 1871, the Great Northern and Northern Pacific 
railroads reached the Dakota line, and the next season began to 
extend their roads in North Dakota. Upon entering this state 
the Northern Pacific was given a very large grant of public land 
as a bonus for putting in their system of road. 

As a result of the failure and bankruptcy of Jay Cook, the 
great railroad magnate, in 1873, a panic in Northern Pacific stock 
resulted and the price of it became exceedingly cheap. In conse- 
quence the lands granted for the Northern Pacific road were sold 
at a very small pittance. 

In 1875, Oliver Dalrymple secured an equipment and financial 
support in St. Paul and proceeded to the Red River Valley to 
begin farming operations. It is said that the business men of 
St. Paul considered it a wild goose chase, a scheme of the most 
hazardous sort, and a sheer waste of time and money to engage 
in extensive farming operations in such a country. Mr. Dalrymple 
secured Northern Pacific land at a cost of from 40 to 60 cents per 
acre and succeeded with one or two other gentlemen in getting 
control of 75,000 acres of it. He put in his first crop in 1876, upon 
the growth and harvest of which the fame of the Red River 
Valley as a farming country was liberally advertised. The 
Northern Pacific railroad seeing a chance to have the country 
tributary to their lines develop into a prosperous community 
which would be profitable to them, lent their good offices in adver- 
tising the results secured by Oliver Dalrymple. As one of the 
early settlers put it : ' * Mr. Dalrymple turned over the sod, sowed 
a crop of wheat on it, got a magnificent yield and then we all 
come." Not long ago Mr. Dalrymple said relative to his farm: 
"The land immediately took on a value of $5.00 per acre in 1875 
and has increased a dollar per acre per annum since, and has 
a present value of from $30.00 to $40.00 per acre. In my judg- 
ment it will continue this rise in value at the same rate during 
the next twenty-five years." Mr. Dalrymple has continued to 
operate on a large scale, but has diversified his crops recently to 
a very great extent. Not long ago the report of the farm showed 
that they were growing a thousand acres of corn per year, which 


indicates that they are adopting the better methods of maintaining 
soil fertility as insuring a permanent agricultural production. 

Before the railroad had reached Fargo, so that the townsite 
was located, James Holes, filed on a homestead beside what later 
proved to be the townsite and he was the first to develop a market 
gardening business in the upper part of the valley. 

J. L. Grandin heard of the settling and development of the 
new country and remembered that his firm had taken some 
Northern Pacific stock as security, which had never been re- 
deemed and which he had stowed away in their vault as well- 
nigh, if not entirely valueless paper. Taking this stock from the 
pigeon holes, he proceeded to North. Dakota and placed it on 
land. He started a second enterprise on similar lines to those 
under way by Oliver Dalrymple, and seconded the evidence in 
favor of the value and possibilities of the new country. The 
levelness of the land, the ease with which it could be broken 
and tilled, the high degree of productiveness and its rapid increase 
in value, all helped to make these large enterprises extremely 
popular and profitable. The increase in value of land alone, quad- 
rupled the capital in a very few years, which followed by the 
steady advance of a dollar an acre per annum has never left the 
owner in doubt about the value of the investment. 

Mr. James J. Hill, President of the Great Northern Railroad, 
early became familiar with the Red River Valley region and was 
strongly impressed with its value and its possibilities. He is also 
a great believer in permanent high grade agriculture and has 
constantly argued and aided in every way possible the farming 
of the Red River Valley region. While he has probably never 
plowed a furrow nor seeded an acre of land in this section of 
the country, he has been a great aid to the agricultural develop- 
ment through the means mentioned above. 

After a short while the valley was filled with settlers who 
engaged in farming operations, particularly wheat growing, but 
for two decades little attention was paid to the seed used or to 
the preparation of the land, other than plowing and harrowing it 
preceding the planting of the grain. The only rest or change 
which was administered to the soil was an occasional fallowing. 

In the early eighties James Holes of Fargo began work upon 


fife seed wheat improvement, and at about the same time his 
irteighbor, L. H. Haynes, began a similar but a more scientific and 
systematic improvement of blue stem wheat. 

Mr. Holes found a splendid single plant of fife wheat growing 
in an oat field and saved the seed from it. This foundation plant 
was the progenitor of a splendid lot of fife seed wheat which was 
grown under rotation and careful farming methods, and kept 
(it) pure and made (it) of high grade and quality. It was sent 
out in large quantities by Mr. Holes and became the chief fife 
seed wheat of the valley. Many other men such as D. L. Wellman, 
Frazee, Minn. ; Thomas Bolton, Park River, N. D. ; Messrs. Rysting 
and Houston, together with many others followed the two gentle- 
men first named, in keeping up a high standard of seed wheat for 
planting in the valley and elsewhere in the adjoining states. 

L. H. Haynes work on the blue stem variety was very sys- 
tematic and scientific in conception and prosecution. The seed 
was planted a berry in a place in order that he might study the 
entire plant and so that each should have the same conditions 
under which to grow and also that he might keep a pedigree 
record of the performance of the individual plants, generation 
after generation. The greater portion of the seed from the best 
plants was sowed in rows, that which the best rows produced 
in small plats, their product upon larger ones, and then it was 
taken to his fields which had never been seeded to any other grain 
than Haynes pedigreed blue stem. Mr. Haynes had no criticism 
from his purchasers on the lines of not sending out pure blue 
stem and as he did good farming there is no record of criticism 
from a purchaser on the point of foul seed. Mr. Haynes had a 
warehouse in Fargo and shipped in his grain from the west edge 
of the valley, screened it and had it sacked and shipped from 
the warehouse under his personal supervision. The fame of his 
pedigreed wheat spread far and wide, and he shipped large 
quantities of it to other states and some even to other countries. 
He was very much interested in disseminating good seed grain 
and apparently took as much pleasure in shipping a few sacks 
to a small farmer who wished a start of seed as he did in sending 
a carload to a large land owner who wanted to seed it on a 
thousand acres. 


In October, 1890, the North Dakota Experiment Station was 
established at Fargo, in the Red River Valley, and in '92 began the 
work on wheat breeding and seed improvement for that region. 
This institution gathered, from every known source, seed grain 
of all kinds, especially wheat, and after a thorough trial found 
that the fife strain descending from Mr. Holes' breeding but 
modified to some extent by some of the other breeders, and the 
strain descending from the Haynes Pedigreed Blue Stem were the 
best available and hence used them as foundation stock. The 
work of this institution has continued from that time to this 
upon lines similar to those instituted by Mr. Haynes, except that 
improved and more rapid methods of planting, harvesting and 
caring for the single plants have been instituted and a more 
comprehensive and complete pedigree record has been kept. At 
this date after seventeen years of work by the Station, the pedi- 
grees of its stronger yielding wheats of both the fife and blue 
stem strains, trace to the Haynes and Holes foundation stock. 
North Dakota Experiment Station No. 66, a variety of fife wheat 
which has been disseminated very widely through the valley 
and Minnesota 163, both sprang from the nursery at the North 
Dakota Experiment Station and trace to the Holes fife wheat as 
foundation stock. They have been phenomenal yielders, out- 
doing their parent sorts by two bushels or more per acre and 
now produce nearly the entire fife wheat crop of the valley. 

The Minnesota Station has been very active since about 1890 
in an attempt to improve seed grain for the State of Minnesota 
and has given considerable direct attention to the Red River 
Valley, having as early as 1891, grown wheat at Glyndon, Minn., 
in order to have it under Red River Valley conditions. Later, 
it established a sub-experiment station at Crookston, in order that 
the wheat varieties might be given special study on Red River 
Valley soil. 

Experiment Station activities in seed improvement have not 
been limited to wheat, as North Dakota No. 388 Tartarian; No. 
666, Sixty Day varieties of oats; No. 871 and No. 172, barley; 
No. 100 and No. 950, or Golden Dent corn ; No. 155, flax ; No. 39 and 
No. 47, potatoes, attest. This experiment station activity in 
seed improvement has added materially to the agricultural possi- 


bilities of the state and probably accounts for the maintenance 
of the grain yield during the first twenty-five years of actual 
cropping. The efforts of the North Dakota Station in attempting 
to produce strains of wheat immune to rust and of flax, immune to 
the flax wilt, indicate the activity of these institutions in their 
attempt to produce valuable sorts of grain capable of meeting 
the necessities of the region. 

Diversification of crops has been studied by the crop growers 
during the past ten years. Twenty-five years ago a man that 
spoke of stock on a North Dakota farm was understood to mean 
work horses and mules. Live stock is still too scarce in the Red 
River Valley, but enough cattle, sheep and hogs are kept for the 
term live stock to be applied more widely than to work horses. 

The advent of successful corn and clover growing which are 
discussed later have been largely responsible for the change. 
Weeds have begun to encroach upon Red River Valley farmers, 
who have not diversified their crops and their soil has de- 
teriorated in fertility and in mechanical condition. 

As already noted potatoes were grown in the valley as a part 
of the cropping system by the Selkirk settlers at a very early 
date and exclusively by the Pembina settlers a little later. 
The North Dakota potato has enjoyed an enviable reputation for 
quality for some years. Seed potatoes from the valley are 
shipped as far south as Memphis Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo., 
in considerable quantity. The potato bug and potato diseases 
have finally come into the valley, but are not yet serious as com- 
pared with most other potato growing regions. 

Dairy interests in the valley have slowly but gradually de- 
veloped and with the incoming of the diversification of crops, 
they are making more rapid advancement. Dairying is destined 
to be a more important industry as time passes, since conditions 
prevail here which produce the highest quality of dairy products. 

Gradually the growing of corn is coming into the cropping 
scheme of the Red River Valley farmer as a means of securing 
cheap roughage to carry his live stock through the winter, to 
put his land in high mechanical condition, free it from weeds, 
and, as a result of all these features, improve the yield of the small 
grain crops which follow. The early settler would not believe 


that a variety of corn existed which would ripen in this northern 
latitude, but recent school childrens' contests of corn growing, 
exhibits made at fairs and at the corn show more recently held, 
thoroughly demonstrate how mistaken was* the idea of the 
early settler. The North Dakota Experiment Station has dis- 
covered that a simple change to corn or potatoes every fourth 
season as compared with continuous cropping to wheat will 
produce as much total grain as continuous wheat seeding will 

Bed clover has gradually found its way into the Bed Biver 
Valley and seems to be very much at home in this region. The 
early settler found that clover did only fairly well with him 
and gave up the growing of it as a practical crop for the state. 
The North Dakota Experiment Station made regular and very 
successful trials with it, found that in most cases the land did 
not need inoculation with the tubercle bacteria and finally in- 
duced the farming population gradually to attempt the growth 
of red clover for a second time in the history of the valley. A 
wave of red clover is just now passing over the valley and 
scarcely a community can be found that does not have one or 
more fields of it growing in thrifty condition. Some have been 
discouraged with it because of the fact that it frequently winter 
kills the second season, but this can scarcely be considered un- 
fortunate since the regular plowing up of the clover fields, means 
that a rotation of crops is assured on all the fields of the farm 
and that the yield of grain will consequently be increased. 

Alfalfa is now being tried in various parts of the Bed Biver 
Valley and while many places are not sufficiently well drained 
for this crop to succeed, it is making a very good showing in 
many sections where it is planted in reasonably well located soil 
and it is probably destined to have a part in the cropping sys- 
tem of North Dakota, in a small way at least. 

Gardening and fruit growing have received very slight at- 
tention from the Bed Biver Valley farmers until the immediate 
present. Only a few of the earlier settlers put out shelter belts 
of trees and without such protection, the growth of small fruits 
is difficult if not impossible. During the last few seasons, the 
growing of strawberries, currants, gooseberries, and raspberries 


has greatly increased and fruit growing seems to be a very 
contagious operation, since it adds to the list of supplies avail- 
able to the farmers' family, a luxury which could not be pur- 
chased on the market under any consideration. 

While gardening, as already noted, was taken up by some 
of the very early settlers in the vicinity of the larger towns, 
it has had a slow growth and it is doubtful whether the towns 
and cities of the valley even now are amply supplied with this 
class of products, grown in their immediate vicinity. Agri- 
cultural operations in the valley have been so simple, easy, and 
have been practiced on such a wholesale scale that our people 
have been slow to take up anything that could be considered 
tedious or irksome and, as a consequence, this very lucrative 
business has been seriously neglected. Just at this time, how- 
ever, a number of persons in the vicinity of the larger centres 
in the valley have taken up market gardening operations upon 
a rather extensive scale and the dawn of a new era in this line, 
seems to be at hand. Celery of a very high grade is easily pro- 
duced on Red River Valley land and is said by experts to be 
equal to that produced in the vicinity of Kalamazoo, Mich. 

The cultivation of timothy has been limited in general to 
the timber claims, planted by the early settler to secure a quarter 
section of land. A few of the more thoughtful land owners have 
groves of great value and, while the best judgment has not been 
used in the class of trees secured, the land which has been 
devoted to tree growth has in the aggregate produced as much 
value per acre per annum, as that which has been sown to small 
grain and other sale crops. With cedar fence posts selling at 
18 to 25 cents apiece and with wood bringing from $6.00 to 
$8.00 a cord, a cutting from one of these older tree plantations 
brings in a large harvest in value and can be properly taken care 
of at a time when the activities of the farm are the lightest of 
any season in the year. 

Drainage has been a mighty problem in the Red River Valley 
during years of irregular precipitation. The settlers are rapidly 
learning to co-operate in putting in open ditches and strong 
water carrying major channels into which the individual laterals 
may be drained. The United States Government and the experi- 


ment stations located at Fargo and Crookston are co-operating 
in making a study of the feasibility of under drainage. The 
matter of putting in drainage systems under public supervision 
and under specific taxation of the land benefited is gradually 
being equitably adjusted and will soon doubtless be worked out 
in such reasonable form as to be readily accepted by the inter- 
ested parties. 

With this fertile section of country thoroughly drained, it 
will prove the most reliable cropping region in the Northwest, 
if not indeed, in the entire country. The history of this drainage 
progress has been first a series of efforts on private account, 
later a co-operative plan of building good roads, well rounded 
up with helpful drainage ditches at each side upon each section 
line. Numerous plans for co-operation have been tried, many 
of which are successful in removing the surplus water from the 
land, but were unsatisfactory to those concerned by reason of 
their believing them to be unfair in the pro-rata of taxes levied, 
in proportion to the benefit received. Many plans for compre- 
hensive drainage have been tried, but it must still be considered 
in the evolutionary stage. An item of public interest which 
represents so much of added production and consequent wealth 
to an entire community must soon find a basis for adoption. 
When the Red River Valley is once drained of surplus water 
and the suggestions given above for the growing of corn, leg- 
uminous crops, and the keeping of live stock, put into practice, 
its production of grain in a ten year period should be increased 
at least fifty per cent. 

The Red River Valley does not lend itself to irrigation and 
ordinarily does not suffer from the lack of such a system. The 
fine grained soil of the valley is extremely retentive of moisture 
and seldom suffers from drouth where it has been reasonably 
cropped and cultivated during the years preceding the time when 
the light rainfall occurs. 

The valley has many organizations which influence agri- 
culture, that are of joint service to this and all other regions of 
the commonwealth to which the two halves of the valley belong. 
Prominent among these is the Grain Growers' Convention, now 
nearly a decade old, which is an organization held together by 


strictly common need and interest. It has neither by-laws nor 
constitution, adjourns subject to the call of its officers annually, 
but is strongly attended and wields a mighty influence for the 
betterment of agricultural conditions in the valley and all other 
sections embraced by the organization. 

The Live Stock Breeders' Association of North Dakota, Min- 
nesota, and Manitoba are three organizations which are rendering 
splendid service for the agriculture of the Red River Valley. 

The Poultry Breeders' Associations of the three common- 
wealths also represent agricultural productive features of the 
Red River Valley, which are in the aggregate of great value. 

Potato growers' associations which have sprung up in the 
Red River Valley are dual in their purpose, embracing the fea- 
tures of exchanging ideas and gaining information and of co- 
operation in matters of marketing their products. They have 
proven most helpful in both these directions and with all have 
been very helpful to the districts in which they have been 

Three dairymen's associations have taken an interest in the 
Red River Valley and while the citizens of this region have 
been slow to take to that type of production, these organizations 
should be credited with the good they have done, for the cause 
they represent and for having laid the foundation for the future 
development of a lasting and lucrative feature of agricultural 

Horticultural societies representing the states and province 
which embrace the Red River Valley have been active in season 
and out of season in their endeavor to improve the horticultural 
conditions and to stimulate the production of horticultural crops 
in this region. These organizations deserve great credit for 
their activity, ingenuity and persistence and while their tangible 
results are not as great as might reasonably have been expected, 
the future citizen of the valley owes them a debt of gratitude 
which will never be paid. 

The corn growers of the upper valley have during the last 
ten years gradually taken on activity, and while they have not 
yet effected permanent organization, they have held corn shows, 
and interested growers in exhibiting at fairs and shows, in such 


a way as to form all the preliminaries which precede effective 
and_ active agricultural organizations. The interest which has 
been aroused by the extension departments of the North Dakota 
Agricultural College and the Minnesota University, in school 
gardens and agricultural crop growing contests which have 
centered strongly about corn have been features of agricultural 
organizations, which must not be overlooked in recounting the 
effect of organized agricultural movements in the Red River 

Among the state and provincial organizations for the benefit 
of agriculture, the numerous county fairs, which dot this level 
region, the state fair of North Dakota and the Winnipeg Ex- 
position of Manitoba, represent this very effective form of agri- 
cultural education and stimulation for the Red River Valley 
region and do their work in a very exhaustive way. 

The Agricultural College of North Dakota at Fargo, with the 
Government Agricultural Experiment Station for the State of 
North Dakota, the Agricultural School and Minnesota Sub-Ex- 
periment Station at Crookston, and the Manitoba Agricultural 
College at Winnipeg, represent educational and investigational 
institutions in the interests of agriculture in the valley territory. 
What these institutions have meant for the uplift of agriculture 
in the valley cannot be measured. And it is but fair to guess 
that they have only passed through the preliminary stages of 
their usefulness to this great agricultural region. 

The Farmers' Institute of Minnesota has been doing work in 
the Red River Valley for a score of years, and that of North 
Dakota has been in active form for a decade. Manitoba has a 
similar form of organization which is doing a like kind of active 
work in the interests of grown-up farmers, their wives and 
families. This form of state education reaches productive agri- 
cultural citizens who are beyond school age. It touches briefly 
on the problem with which he is most concerned or by which 
he is perplexed at the time when this traveling corps of in- 
structors visits him. The direct effect of this educational organ- 
ization on the production of the valley is probably the greatest 
of any single organization if I may be pardoned for assuming 
to assign specific degrees of benefit and influence to a single 


item of organization by itself in point of fact, all of the agri- 
cultural organizations in this region work in harmony and largely 
with a unity of purpose. The farmers' institute corps use the 
facts secured by the investigator, translate them into the 
language of the crop producer, leave out the technical features, 
in which he is not interested and cannot understand, and fre- 
quently show more explicitly than the experimenter knew how 
these elements of information may be applied to the production 
of agricultural wealth. The various agricultural organizations 
are attended by the farmers' institute corps and the specific 
information brought out in their discussions along particular 
lines of agriculture are carried through the community and dis- 
seminated from point to point until all of the citizens are ap- 
prised of the new methods discovered or of the revision of the 
old which have lately been brought out. 

The Red River Valley has been traversed by white men for a 
century. Eighty years ago it demonstrated its capacity to pro- 
duce potatoes and grain crops under reasonable conditions and 
has consistently done so ever since. 

Geologic forces combined to give it a soil of fine grain, level 
and almost wholly devoid of waste land. Its capacity for 
production is not known, since intensity of cultivation and 
diversity of crops will bring results and show capabilities not now 

Sufficient time has not elapsed to write more than an intro- 
duction to the history of the Red River Valley. He who records 
its status a century hence will look upon this as a generation of 
squatters, who have not been surrounded by a dense enough 
population to enable them to develop its resources to even a 
moderate degree. 

Organizations in the interests of agriculture in the Red River 
Valley are numerous and effective, which fact cannot fail to aid 
in improving the production of the country. The population 
is increasing and the farming is slowly growing more intense, 
both of which changes indicate that increased production may 
be anticipated. 

J. H. Shepperd, North Dakota Agricultural College. 




By Hon. George N. Lamphere. 

Published in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections, 
Volume X, 1905. 

Description of the Red River Valley. 

I have not deemed it entirely relevant to my subject to discuss 
the topography, the geology, or the aboriginal inhabitants of the 
Red River valley. And for another reason than its relevancy, I 
have omitted any discussion thereof because they have hereto- 
fore been treated by the honored secretary of this Society, War- 
ren Upham, in a paper read at its annual meeting in 1895 (Min- 
nesota Historical Society Collections, vol. VIII, pages 11-24). 

The Red River valley, as this term is commonly used, is a 
broad and flat prairie plain reaching ten to twenty miles on each 
side of the Red River of the North, having thus about half of its 
expanse in Minnesota and the other half in North Dakota. It 
extends three hundred miles from south to north, continuing in 
Manitoba to Lake Winnipeg. Inclosed by the higher land on each 
side, and pent in at the north by the barrier of the receding ice- 
sheet at the end of the Glacial period, this valley plain was cov- 
ered in that geologic epoch by a vast lake, which, with the com- 
plete disappearance of the ice-sheet, was drained away to Hudson 
bay. To this glacial lake Mr. Upham has given the name of Lake 

*An Address at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
January 8, 1900. 



Agassiz; and its survey and description are the subject of a vol- 
ume prepared by him and published by the United States Geolog- 
ical Survey. The closing chapters of that work should be con- 
sulted by any who seek information concerning the general ag- 
ricultural capabilities of this very fertile district, or concerning 
its water supply and its hundreds of artesian wells. 

Wheat Raising in the Selkirk Settlement. 

The beginning of wheat raising in the Red River valley was 
in the Selkirk settlement north of the boundary line, near Fort 
Garry, now Winnipeg. 

In 1811 the Earl of Selkirk purchased from the Hudson Bay 
Company a vast tract of land in Manitoba, including the land 
afterward occupied by the Selkirk settlement. The purchase was 
subject to the Indian claim to its title. About the time of this 
purchase there was a compulsory exodus of the inhabitants of 
the county of Sutherland, Scotland, from the estates of the 
Duchess of Sutherland; and Lord Selkirk took a large number 
of these evicted persons under his protection and forwarded them 
to settle on the land he had purchased on the Red River. They ar- 
rived on the bay in the fall of the year, and spent the winter at 
Churchill, on the western shore of the bay. In the following 
spring they advanced inland, crossed Lake Winnipeg, and ascend- 
ed the Red River of the North. They intended to make their home 
at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red rivers, but on arriv- 
ing there found that the X. Y. and the Northwest Companies of 
Canada, which were opponents of the Hudson Bay Company, 
regarded them as invaders and also as proteges of the latter. 
The Indians also objected to the cultivation of their hunting 
grounds, and were instigated to hostile proceedings against the 
newcomers by the representations of the Canadian companies. 

The year 1812 passed without any satisfactory progress being 
made toward settlement, and the immigrants spent the following 
winter in great distress at Pembina, whither they were driven by 
the Indians. By some means, however, they were able to mollify 
their opponents, and were permitted to return in the spring. They 
built log houses and began the cultivation of the land on the bank 
of the river. Within a year they were attacked by the partisans 


of the companies, who burnt their houses and killed some of their 
number. Afterward, being reinforced by a company of additional 
immigrants from Scotland, the settlers returned to the places from 
which they had been driven, and recommenced their labors. The 
hostility of the companies toward these poor immigrants was 
continued, their property was destroyed and men were captured 
and killed. At length, on June 19, 1816, the adherents of the two 
parties met at Seven Oaks, in the center of the settlement, under 
such circumstances that a small battle occurred, in which about 
twenty men, among whom was Governor Semple, were killed. 

In 1817 Lork Selkirk came over and visited the settlement. 
Besides having a desire to see how the settlers were prospering, 
he desired to negotiate for the extinguishment of the Indian title 
to the land he had purchased. After much difficulty he negoti- 
ated a treaty with the Chippewas and Crees, which treaty was 
signed July 18, 1817. The consideration was the annual payment 
of 200 pounds of tobacco, half to the Chippewas and half to the 
Crees. The conditions in the territory at this time were so 
wretched that the Canadian government interfered and appointed 
a commissioner to make investigation, who recommended an am- 
icable settlement and a union of interests by the companies, which 
had been reduced to the verge of bankruptcy. It was a long time, 
however, before action was taken. Lork Selkirk died in 1821, 
and the Right Honorable Edward Ellice succeeded to his rights. 
He was one of the principal stockholders of the Northwest Com- 
pany, and the Canadian government consulted with him and 
under its auspices he instituted negotiations, which, after many 
difficulties, resulted in a harmonious union between the Hudson 
Bay Company and the Northwest Company, the latter having 
before combined with the X. Y. Company. This agreement went 
into effect in 1821, and from this date the opposition to the settlers 
was withdrawn. 

Lord Selkirk, on his arrival in 1817, had provided the set- 
tlers with agricultural implements, seed grain, and other neces- 
saries, but the season was so far advanced that little produce 
was grown in 1817 and a famine ensued. The people again re- 
turned to Pembina, where they passed the winter, subsisting as 
best they could on the produce of the chase. The next spring 


they went back to their lands, ploughed and seeded them, and 
entertained high hopes for a bountiful harvest, but were to be 
sorely disappointed, as an army of locusts made its appearance 
and in one night destroyed every vestige of verdure in the fields. 
The locusts left their eggs and in 1819 were more numerous than 
in the preceding year, making agriculture impossible. The set- 
tlers again took refuge at Pembina, and Lord Selkirk imported 
250 bushels of seed grain from the United States at an expense of 
1,000, and this, which was sown in the spring of 1820, produced 
a plentiful crop in the autumn of that year. Thus it may be said 
that the first wheat that was ever successfully grown and har- 
vested in the Red River valley was in the season of 1820 by the 
Selkirkers. I am principally indebted for the facts as above set 
forth to the book entitled "Red River, " by J. J. Hargrave, printed 
by John Lovell, Montreal. 

The methods of cultivation in the Selkirk settlement were 
rude and primitive. Their plow was English or Scotch, made all 
of iron from the tip of the beam to the end of the handles, and 
was ten or twelve feet long. Its share was shaped like a mason's 
trowel. With this drawn by one horse, enough ground was 
scratched every spring to raise suificient wheat to feed all the 
blackbirds and pigeons in the Red River valley, and leave a sur- 
plus large enough to meet the wants of the people of the settle- 
ment ; also to sell to the Hudson Bay Company all they needed for 
their outposts in the British Northwest possessions, and still leave 
a surplus sufficient for food and seed for two years, which was 
stored up to be used in case of emergency or failure of crop in 
the coming seasons. The grain was cut with sickles, the bundles 
tied with willow withes and stacked in the barnyard, to be flailed 
out during the winter and cleaned by the winds, men, and women 
and children all giving a helping hand in this work. 

In August, 1851, Charles Cavalier arrived at Pembina. At 
that date the Red River valley, except the Selkirk settlement, was 
a howling waste throughout its whole length and breadth. Then 
there were only four white men in that section, namely, Norman 
W. Kittson, Joseph Rolette, George Morrison, and Charles Cav- 
alier. There were 1,800 to 2,000 half-breeds, and Mr. Cavalier 
says that, as he was born among the "Wyandotte Indians in Ohio 


and brought up near them, the Indians at Pembina were not much 
of a curiosity to him, but the half-breed was a new phase of the 
genus. "To this day," says he, "I have not fully made up my 
mind whether the cross between the white man and the red man 
was much of an improvement, as with but few exceptions the 
Indian blood predominates." 

In those early days bread was a rarity, and pemmican, dried 
buifalo meat, fish and a few potatoes constituted the food supply. 
Charles Cavalier and Commodore N. W. Kittson planned a trip 
to the Selkirk settlement, where they were told they would find 
bread in abundance. They set out in the same year (1851) and in 
a day and a half's sail down the river in a canoe reached Fort 
Garry and St. Boniface, where they received a hospitable wel- 
come from Vereck Marion, Mr. Kittson 's father-in-law. They 
visited the Roman Catholic bishops and clergy and found them 
pleasant and agreeable gentlemen. They also visited the Sisters 
of Charity at the hospital, who gave them a warm welcome and 
showed them through the whole establishment. Kittson having 
returned to Pembina, Mr. Cavalier, in company with Mr. Marion, 
visited the office of the Hudson Bay Company, where they met 
also Major Campbell, who was in command of a company of 
British x troops stationed near Fort Garry. With Marion, who was 
an old settler and acquainted with every one, Cavalier went on a 
tour of inspection and gathered all the information possible in 
his limited time in order to tell his friends on his return about 
this isolated, almost unheard-of community, and how they made 
life endurable in their frigid northern climate. 

From Fort Garry to the Lower Fort the two men called at 
almost every house, and found a happy, prosperous, English- 
speaking people, mostly of Scotch descent from the immigrants 
sent over by Lord Selkirk. A few of other nationalities were also 
there. They were very kindly and hospitable people. The two 
men called upon Bishop Anderson of the English church, and 
found him to be "a fine old English gentleman all of the olden 
time." With him they visited the colleges, one for males and the 
other for females, where the youth received a classical education, 
and which institutions are still in existence. Here Mr. Cavalier 
first met Donald Murray, one of the original Selkirk settlers, who 



had once settled at South Pembina and had remained there until 
it was determined to be south of the international boundary line, 
and whose daughter is now Mr. Cavalier's wife. Mr. Cavalier 
somewhat enthusiastically says that his impression at that time 
was that he had never seen a more prosperous community in the 
States than was the Selkirk settlement. There was not a family 
that was not well off as to all the wants of life. The latch string 
of every door hung on the outside, and all who called were wel- 
come to the best the larder contained, and when leaving were 
asked to come again. Sectarianism was unknown among them, 
there being only one church, the Episcopal. Though the Scotch 
were mostly Presbyterians, yet when Dalton Black settled among 
them and an Episcopal church was built for them, there was no 
ill feeling shown on either side. Their houses were all built of 
logs and built for comfort, convenience, and warmth. Many of 
them are yet occupied, but the changes caused by Canadian im- 
migration have had a large influence in changing their manner 
of life. However, they are today the same good people and live 
up to their religion. 

The half-breeds of the Selkirk settlement, speaking 1 English, 
are not nomads like those of French extraction, but take to the 
ways of their fathers and are workers and tillers of the soil. 
Nearly all have homes and lands of their own, educate their chil- 
dren, and have something laid by for a rainy day; while the 
French half-breeds, who are mostly of the Roman Catholic faith, 
believe that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." 

As the harvest of that season (1851) was nearly finished and 
the barnyards were filled with large and bountiful stacks of wheat 
and barley, and a stack or two of oats and peas, it was a rich 
sight, and there was no fear of starvation for two or more years, 
even should the crops fail. The land system, which gave a strip of 
land six chains wide fronting the Red River and extending back 
two miles, gave the settlement the appearance of a long, strag- 
gling village along the road from Fort Garry to the Lower Fort ; 
and as the dwellings, barns and stock were in close view all the 
way, the picture was a most beautiful and interesting one, such 
as is nowhere seen in the States and rarely even in old Europe. 

The Selkirkers generally had large families and old and young 


worked together on the homesteads. While like other farmers 
they suffered from drouth, grasshoppers, and frosts, yet they 
usually secured good crops, and saved a reserve for two or three 
years, an amount for seed, and sold the surplus to the Hudson 
Bay Company. Occasionally they would have poor crops and 
perhaps be compelled to use their reserve, or even to borrow from 
the Hudson Bay Company for seed and food. The company, 
whose interest it was to be liberal, as they depended upon these 
farmers for their supplies of wheat for their support, loaned wil- 
lingly, but required the payment from the succeeding crop. A 
government never existed, in the opinion of Mr. Cavalier, that 
got on better with settlers than the much abused Hudson Bay 

Early Flouring Mills ; Grasshoppers. 

At that time, as before noted, all grain was cut with sickles 
and bound with willow withes by the women and children. 
Wheat, barley, and oats, were threshed on a barn floor with a 
flail during the winter season, and were winnowed with a large 
wind scoop resting on the breast ; and it was remarkable how fast, 
with a good wind, the grain could be cleaned. The wheat was 
ground in large windmills, bolted fine and clean, and made excel- 
lent bread. The flour was not like the flour of these days, and 
modern cooks would probably turn up their noses at it, but it was 
to the taste as good as our best. 

Mr. Cavalier in his rambles on that trip counted fifteen wind- 
mills, all grinding out flour at a lively rate, which at that time 
sold for eight or ten shillings per hundred weight. 

The old settlers told of a grasshopper scourge at a date for- 
gotten by them, that made a clean sweep of every growing thing, 
and that grasshoppers were piled up by the winds and waves four 
feet deep on the shores of lake Manitoba and Shoal lake. They 
stated that after the grasshoppers had done all the damage they 
could, as everything was eaten, the Catholic clergy got up a pro- 
cession and said prayers, and on the next day the hoppers quit 
hopping, took to their wings, and flew away to the northward 
and were seen no more. 

Mr. Cavalier says the first time he saw grasshoppers was in 


1854. He was in camp one night on White Bear Lake, now lake 
Whipple, and took an early start toward St. Cloud. It had rained 
during the night and all were wet, so at nine o 'clock they turned 
out on the bank of Long lake and spread their clothes and other 
things to dry. They made a fire to cook breakfast. Mr. Cavalier, 
on looking around for his blankets, etc., saw nothing but a squirm- 
ing mass of grasshoppers, all as busy as if they had struck a 
bonanza. They were not able to get out of that mass of grass- 
hoppers until they had traveled about twenty miles. On the re- 
turn they struck them at St. Cloud, and they had cleaned the 
country quite thoroughly on their flight east. On crossing the 
Red River and between that and the Wild Rice river they struck 
the forerunners of another cloud of grasshoppers, and did not get 
clear of them until they arrived home at St. Joseph, now Walhalla. 
For gluttony the hopper takes the cake, Mr. Cavalier says, and 
relates that they ate the seat of his saddle and the tops of his 
boots. He threw a plug of tobacco to them, and within an hour 
they had eaten that. 

In 1870 another visitation of grasshoppers appeared, and in 
that year and the year following their ravages were disastrous. 
In 1874 they came again and stayed three years, eating every- 
thing in the Red River valley, and the settlers were obliged to 
haul their flour from St. Cloud. Minneapolis and St. Paul sent 
relief to carry the poor through, which saved many from actual 

Thus the Selkirkers, with the simplest and rudest of agricul- 
tural implements, were always prosperous, and want was un- 
known among them. Through them we learned that the Dakota 
lands were not the barren wastes and howling desert of dry, 
drifting sand that our school books had taught us, and that the 
Red River valley contained a mine of wealth greater than any 
discovered mine of silver and gold. This we were slow to realize, 
but have at length made the Red River valley the most bountiful 
granary of the world. The windmills of that famous pioneer 
settlement have done their last grinding; most of the old hand 
labor implements have been laid aside; and the new and im- 
proved forms of farm machinery, so efficient and so exact as to 
give almost the appearance of having human intelligence, have 


taken their place. These are run or propelled by horse and steam 
power, and the labor of one man has become as that of many. 
Mr. Cavalier reminiscently says: "I was here for years living 
by the proceeds of the chase, never dreaming that this mode of 
livelihood would ever cease, or that the millions of buffaloes that 
roamed the prairies would ever be exhausted, and that we old 
settlers would soon be seeking other means of support." 

The settlers south of the line had to depend upon the Selkirk 
settlement for their bread and butter. Old Father Belcourt, of 
St. Joseph, near the Pembina mountain, a Catholic priest, and a 
rustler in all things for himself first and for his people next, built 
a bull mill at his mission at St. Joseph and ran it a few years 
with oxen, and ground what little wheat the half-breeds raised. 
With no bolt to take the bran out of the flour, it had to be run 
through sieves or eaten husks and all. The half-breeds did not 
furnish wheat enough to make the mill pay, and they could not 
be induced to greater industry, so that the good old man had to 
give the mill up. The result was that the half-breeds returned 
to the coffee-mill or ate the grain raw or roasted. That mill was 
the first. George Emerling and John Mayn built the next, and 
that mill is now one of the paying concerns of Pembina county 
at "Walhalla, having all the new improvements in merchant mills. 

First Mail Route. 

The first public business tending to civilization was the estab- 
lishing of a monthly mail between Pembina and Fort Aber- 
crombie. It was a kind of go-as-you-please, sometimes on foot, 
with the mail bag on the man's back, sometimes by horse and cart, 
and by courier, any way so that the mail was carried, and in those 
days it was never behind time. At least the contractor never was 
docked or fined. From Pembina the mail was taken to Fort 
Garry, and that office had to use Uncle Sam's stamps. From Fort 
Garry the route was to Fort Abercrombie and run by dog trains, 
horse and cart, and one year by ox cart, as all the horses from 
St. Cloud to Fort Garry died or were rendered useless by an 
epidemic. Sometime in the sixties Captain Blakeley and Carpen- 
ter secured the contract to carry the mail from St. Cloud to 


Georgetown on the Ked Eiver, and afterward had it extended to 
Fort Garry, Selkirk settlement. 

The following is a list of the stations. Beginning at Pembina 
and going up or south, the first station was Frank La Eose's, at 
Twelve Mile Point; next were Bowesmont and Long Point, near 
Drayton, Hugh Biggiotoff; and Kelly Point, now Acton. Kelly 
was an old driver and gave it up. Gerard was station agent as 
long after as the route was in existence. Beyond were Turtle 
Eiver, Jo Caloskey ; Grand Forks, John Stewart first, and several 
others afterward; Buffalo Coulie, unknown; Frog Point, un- 
known; Goose Prairie, A. Sargent; Elm Eiver, Johnson; George- 
town, Hudson Bay Company ; Oak Point, unknown ; Twenty-four 
Mile Point, McCauleyville, and Breckenridge. At none of the 
above stations was a handful of grain raised. The contractors 
hauled all their oats from St. Cloud. The above named points 
were all the settled points, and there was not a settler elsewhere 
on the river from Breckenridge to Pembina. 

Steamboats on the Bed River. 

In 1858, Anson Northup got the steamboat Pioneer in suc- 
cessful operation. Mr. Cavalier says he was then living at St. 
Boniface, Selkirk settlement, and with his wife made a trip on 
her to Lower Fort Garry, and he says that the settlers on the 
bank of the river were as much surprised as were the Indians in 
their villages on the Minnesota river at the first boat when she 
steamed up to Mankato. It was a perfect circus all the way down. 

The International made her appearance within three or four 
years afterward as a freight boat for the Hudson Bay Company, 
ostensibly owned by Commodore N. W. Kittson, and was used as 
long as there was need of a boat on the river. She was all the 
time under the command of Captain Frank Aymond, a St. Louis 
Frenchman from Ville Eoche, and he was an excellent captain. 
Since leaving the river he has been living on his farm some four 
miles above Neche on the Pembina river, where he expects to pass 
the remainder of his days to a happy old age. 

The Selkirk came next. She was built by James J. Hill ; and 
other boats were built to supply the increased demand. Then 
followed the combination known as the Eed Eiver Transportation 


Company, which did business under that head until the railroads 
successfully shut off river navigation. 

The amount of business that these boats accomplished was 
astonishing, and yet they did but little, perceptibly, toward set- 
tling the country, as there were only three or four points on the 
river that showed a beginning of what was to come. From Fargo 
and Moorhead to Grand Forks there were only a few settlers; 
and from Grand Forks to Drayton a few had settled to stay. 
Bowesmont was a steamboat landing, but never has amounted to 
much. Then Joliette commenced to grow and is now quite a 
prosperous community, and, last but not least, Pembina. Back 
from the river there was no settlement and without the aid of 
railroads it would have taken an age to build up the country to 
what it now is. 

Prior to 1878 there had been a few shipments of wheat, which 
had been picked up along the river by the boats. Frank C. 
Myrick, who was in the commission business from 1864, made 
the largest shipment on one of the boats ever made from Pembina. 
It amounted to 500 bushels of wheat, which he had collected from 
the back country on the Pembina and Tongue rivers. From Grand 
Forks to Pembina settlers came dropping in by families one at 
a time, and all came with the idea that wheat was the only staple 
to be cultivated in the Red River valley, all of which they had 
learned from the remarkable crops raised in the Selkirk settle- 
ment with primitive tools for cultivation, yielding from twenty 
to fifty bushels per acre. In one instance by garden cultivation 
as an experiment on the ground of Deacon James McKay, the 
yield was seventy-five bushels to the acre. If such crops are 
raised in Selkirk with the imperfect cultivation, why may we not, 
they reasoned, do the same or better with improved machinery 
farther south in the valley ? For a few years they did so, and they 
continued to do well as long as they confined themselves to the 
extent of land they could properly cultivate. But greed was 
their worst enemy. If 160 acres panned out so well, why would 
not a section do better? And there they made a mistake, as will 
be explained later. 


First Wheat Raising Near the Pembina River. 

During the period thus far traced, no wheat was raised south 
of the international boundary line. The settlers there lived on 
fish, flesh, and fowl. They raised all the garden vegetables 
needed, and bought flour from the Selkirk settlement. For fresh 
meat they depended upon the plains, and were seldom out of a 
supply. Barley was raised for horse feed, and some oats were 
raised, but the blackbirds devoured most of the oat fields. Hav- 
ing no mills to grind wheat, the settlers on the south side of the 
line raised none, but did raise squaw corn for roasting ears. The 
few cattle were kept on hay in winter, and the Indian ponies dug 
theirs out of the snow, save in a period of unusually cold weather 
and deep snows, when they were fed hay. 

In 1871 or 1872, Charles Bottineau, who had tilled ten acres 
to garden, seeded it to wheat, and claims to have raised fifty 
bushels of No. 1 hard wheat to the acre upon it. His place was 
four miles above Neche on the north side of Pembina river. Two 
years later Charles Grant, two miles west of Pembina, raised a 
small field of wheat, and claims to have averaged forty bushels 
to the acre, all of which they hauled to the Selkirk settlement 
to have it ground. A man named Vere Ether came to Pembina 
at the beginning of Kiel's rebellion (1869), and was stopped at the 
boundary line by Kiel's scouts. They sent him back to wait for 
a more convenient time. He was persuaded to take a preemption 
on the Pembina river a few miles east of Neche. He opened up 
his farm and was the first settler there who made wheat-raising 
his chief employment. He always had good crops, in good seasons 
forty bushels per acre and never less than fifteen bushels. 

Pioneer Farmers Near Moorhead and Fargo. 

One of the oldest settlers and farmers in the Red River 
valley, south of the international line, is Honorable R. M. Probst- 
field, now living on his farm three and a half miles north of 
Moorhead. He came to the valley in 1859, and located at the 
mouth of the Sheyenne river, about five miles south of George- 
town. In October, 1860, he went to Europe, and returned in the 
spring of 1861, but, owing to the flooded condition of the valley 


that spring, he was unable to reach his location until June 10th. 
At that time parties by the name of Roundsville and Hanna were 
on the land where Mr. Probstfield now lives, and that spring they 
sowed a little wheat and planted potatoes. Roundsville and 
Hanna were called away and they made arrangements with Mr. 
Probstfield to harvest the wheat and 1 dig the potatoes, but the 
Chippewa Indians threatened to drive them away and kill their 
stock. The wheat was destroyed by hail. Mr. Probstfield dug 
the potatoes. He had brought some cattle from St. Paul, and 
that fall he cut some hay on the place now occupied by Jacob 
Wambach. The Indians never molested them, as, after the troops 
at Fort Abercrombie had given them a whipping, they went north 
into the British possessions. In the fall of 1861 he went to the 
post at Georgetown, and lived there until March, 1863, when 
General Sibley ordered all whites to go to Abercrombie. This was 
owing to the Indian uprising. He remained at Abercrombie until 
June, 1863, when he was ordered by General Sibley to remove to 
St. Cloud, where he remained until May, 1864, when he returned 
to Georgetown. The Indians had burned his buildings on the 
Wambach place, on the Buffalo river near Georgetown. He then 
opened a boarding house in one of the Hudson Bay Company's 
buildings at Georgetown, and was appointed postmaster. There 
were twenty-five men there at work building barges, who lived 
in the military quarters and boarded with him. 

From 1864 to 1868, Mr. Probstfield was the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany's agent at Georgetown. In 1862 the company seeded some 
wheat, but it was not harvested, owing to the abandonment of 
the post on account of the Indian scare. The company leased 
its boat, the International, to Harris, Gaeger, Mills & Bentley, 
until the post was again opened in 1864. Roundsville and Hanna 
having abandoned their farm, in Oakport, Mr. Probstfield took it 
as his homestead and occupied it in May, 1869, where he has 
ever since lived. There were seventy-one acres in the place, and 
he afterwards purchased additional land at $1.25 per acre. In 
1869 he broke land for a garden, and seeded oats and barley and 
planted potatoes. He also kept live stock. As there were no 
threshing machines or mills in the country, it would not pay to 
raise wheat. In 1874, the Hudson Bay Company brought a 


thresher, a horse power machine, and the company's agent at 
Georgetown, Walter J. S. Traill, offered to thresh any wheat that 
was grown. Mr. Probstfield accordingly broke up fifteen acres 
and seeded it to wheat, harvesting twenty-eight bushels per acre, 
which was sold at about $1.50 per bushel. I should have remarked 
that during the years 1870 to 1873, Mr. Probstfield cultivated ten 
acres to oats, barley, corn and garden. Moorhead and Fargo 
had begun to be established in 1871, and these places afforded an 
excellent market for all the produce grown. 

Nels Larson raised some wheat also in 1874, on land about 
two miles north of Moorhead, now known as Dr. Brendemuehl 7 s 
farm. Ole Thompson, Hogan Anderson (Hicks), and Jens An- 
derson raised wheat south of Moorhead the same year. This 
wheat was sold to an elevator in Fargo that was built before 
Bruns & Finkle had built their large elevator and mill in Moor- 

In 1875, Mr. Probstfield again raised wheat, and the number 
who were engaged in the industry considerably increased that 
year. In the spring of that year a number of Norwegians from 
Houston county came up and looked at land on the Dakota side 
between Georgetown and Argusville. Finding the land very wet 
by overflow of the river, they returned to the Minnesota side, 
and Mr. Probstfield, meeting them, asked where they were going, 
and they replied, "Back to Houston county." He was cultivating 
potatoes, and he said to them that if they would put two young 
men to work in his place, he would go with them and show them 
good land .that had been surveyed. They agreed, and he took 
them over to the Buffalo river about six or eight miles east, where 
they located. There were six or seven families, and among them 
were Ole Thortvedt, Ole Tauge, Torgerson Skree, Ole Anderson, 
and others. They were delighted with the location and land, and 
they or their descendants are still there and prosperous. A. G. 
Kassenborg, A. 0. Kragnes, and B. Gunderson and others, came 
a little later, and located on the Buffalo river. Jacob Wambach 
came in 1874, with his father-in-law, Joseph Stochen. Contem- 
porary with Mr. Probstfield was E. R. Hutchinson, who settled 
where he still resides, about two miles south of Georgetown on 
the river. The boom began about 1878, when the immigration 


into the valley was very large. Wheat sold for $1 and above until 
about 1882, and it fell until it reached the low price of 42 or 43 

One of the oldest settlers in the valley on the Dakota side 
and one of the most successful farmers is James Holes. He came 
in July, 1871, and bought out the claim of Ole Hanson, who had 
a cabin on the west bank of the river about one mile north of the 
Northern Pacific surveyed line. Hanson had a small patch of 
corn and potatoes. No corn was secured that year, and Mr. 
Holes says he dug about half a barrel of potatoes. The Northern 
Pacific railroad had laid tracks in the fall of 1871 to the east side 
of the river, to a point where Moorhead now stands. There was 
no bridge as yet, and owing to want of timber the bridge was not 
built until the summer of 1872. The first engine crossed the river 
July 4 (or June 6), 1872. Mr. Holes states that the freight 
charges for wheat to Duluth at that time were prohibitory and 
this discouraged the growing of it. He interviewed the general 
manager and made such representations to him. The charge then 
was $99 for 20,000 pounds. This was exactly 30 cents per bushel. 
The company soon after (in 1873) made a considerable reduction. 
In 1872 Mr. Holes had the largest cultivated field in Cass county. 
It was cropped to oats, potatoes, and garden vegetables, and con- 
tained twenty-four acres. There were good markets, and Mr. 
Holes shipped his produce to Fort Buford, Bismarck, Winnipeg, 
and Glyndon. In 1873 he pursued the same employment. In 1874 
he seeded fifteen acres of wheat, and harvested twenty bushels per 
acre. The season was dry, and, as the land had been gardened, it 
blew out badly, which caused a rather light yield for those early 
years. The wheat was the Scotch Fife variety, and he sold it for 
seed. In 1875 his acreage of wheat was about the same, but hav- 
ing in 1876 broken 150 acres, in the spring of 1877 he seeded 175 
acres to wheat and secured an average of twenty-seven and one- 
half bushels per acre, which he sold at $1 per bushel. As this 
wheat was raised on land worth $5 per acre, the profit was large. 

From 1878 to 1893, Mr. Holes yearly increased his acreage 
of wheat until he had reached 1,600 acres, which has been about 
the extent of his yearly wheat cultivation since. His land is now 
worth $30 per acre. The poorest field he ever harvested was ten 


bushels per acre, and the best forty-four bushels. His average has 
always exceeded ten bushels, but never exceeded twenty-seven 
and one-half bushels. The price has ranged from $1.50 to 45 cents 
per bushel. Grasshoppers prevailed from 1871 to 1877, and 
wreaked more or less damage every year. In May, 1876, the 
settlers burned the young grasshoppers in the prairie grass, which 
checked them; and in 1877 they all flew away, and this part of 
the valley has not been troubled with them since. Mr. Holes' 
crops have, in the twenty-eight years of his residence here, been 
injured by hail four seasons. The most disastrous hailstorm was 
last season, when he lost, as he figures it, about 16,000 bushels 
of wheat by hail. Mr. Holes states as his judgment, formed after 
long experience, that wheat can be produced at a profit in the 
valley when properly cultivated, excluding from the calculation 
the advance in price of land, and that the valley is one of the 
best in the United States for profitable farming. 

Moorhead was the terminus of the Northern Pacific railroad 
for a period of two years, and a large amount of freight was 
transferred at that point for transportation down the Red River 
to Winnipeg and other places. At that time nine steamers were 
plying on the river, and a number of flatboats were used in con- 
nection. An eye witness has informed me that he has seen as 
many as eleven hundred Mennonite immigrants camped at Moor- 
head and bound for Manitoba and the Northwest Territory, who 
pitched their tents on the banks of the Red River, awaiting trans- 
portation by boat down. 

In May, 1871, there were a few settlers at Glyndon, Muskoda, 
and Hawley, and a few along the Red River within the present 
limits of Clay county. The very earliest settlements were made 
at Georgetown by Adam Stein, R. M. Probstfield, and E. R. 
Hutchinson, who became husbandmen and tillers of the soil. We 
have the gratification of knowing that they are still living wit- 
nesses of the fertility of the Red River valley soil and the health- 
fulness of the climate, and moreover of the fecundity of mankind 
when under the influence of both these. Mr. Hutchinson is the 
father of seventeen children, Mr. Probstfield of thirteen, and Mr. 
Stein of eight. 

It may be of interest to my hearers to learn the particulars as 


to how it happened that these three pioneers drifted into what 
is now one of the most famous agricultural regions in the world, 
but which was then a dreary waste uninhabited save by Indians 
and roamed by wild beasts. In March, 1859, a party of capital- 
ists, consisting in part of Messrs. Peter Poncin, Welch, and Bot- 
tineau, of Minneapolis, and Barneau, John Irvine, and Freuden- 
reich, of St. Paul, explored the Red River country; and their in- 
vestigations convinced them that a point at the mouth of the 
Sheyenne river, about fourteen miles north of the present site of 
Moorhead, was the head of navigation of the Red River, and they 
judged that it was the natural point for a townsite. They there- 
fore covered a plot of land at the point named on the Minnesota 
side of the Red River with scrip, and laid out a town which they 
named La Fayette, and they sold a great many shares in this 
townsite to parties east. On the site they built a large log house, 
which they intended for a tavern. At this time Mr. Probstfield 
was in business at St. Paul in partnership with George Emerling, 
and the townsite owners induced Mr. Probstfield to go up to La 
Fayette. He remained there for a year or more and soon after 
preempted a claim on the south side of Buffalo river, not far 
from Georgetown. In 1864 he went into the employ of the Hud- 
son Bay Company at Georgtown, where they had a warehouse 
and trading post. 

Mr. Stein was induced in July, 1859, to go to La Fayette, and 
he afterwards preempted a claim near Georgetown. His first 
work was in cutting prairie grass and making hay, which he sold 
to the Hudson Bay Company; and later he worked in erecting 
buildings at Georgtown for that company. In December, 1861, 
Mr. Stein enlisted as a soldier in the Fourth Minnesota regiment 
and served through the Civil war. After his return from the 
war, he settled on land near the Hudson Bay Company's build- 
ings at Georgetown, and has been a farmer there ever since. 

The first steamboat on the Red River was built at La Fayette, 
the materials for which were transported across the country from 
Crow Wing on the Mississippi, where the steamer North Star 
was broken up for that purpose. The new boat was named the 
Anson Northup. With the party who came across the country 
with those materials was E. R. Hutchinson, who helped to build 


the boat, and for a number of years he was engaged in boating 
on the Red River and building boats thereon and also on the Sas- 
katchewan. Mr. Hutchinson afterward became a farmer and pre- 
empted land not far from the old site of La Fayette, where he 
now lives. I have related in another place how Mr. Probstfield 
became one of the first farmers in the valley. Besides these three 
men on the north of the line of the Northern Pacific railroad there 
were on the south Jens Anderson and his brother, about three 
miles south of Moorhead. Ole Thompson made settlement about 
the same time on the river about eleven miles south. 

Early in the spring of 1871 Henry A. Bruns went from St. 
Cloud to Brainerd, which was then the western end of the North- 
ern Pacific railroad track. From Brainerd he rode to Oak Lake, 
at the engineers' headquarters of the road, where he met General 
Thomas L. Rosser. The Northern Pacific had surveyed its line 
to the Red River at a point some twenty-eight miles below Moor- 
head. Mr. Bruns was prospecting, looking for business chances. 
He then returned to St. Paul, bought a load of provisions and 
ready-made clothing, and hauled them to the Red River. Where 
Mr. Probstfield 's house now stands (about three and a half miles 
north of Moorhead), he found an encampment of tents, and here 
he met H. G. Finkle, J. B. Chapin, and John Haggert. This was 
about June, 1871. Mr. Bruns opened out his goods in a tent, and 
formed a partnership with Mr. Finkle. They remained at this 
point (Oakport) until September, when, the townsite of Moor- 
head having been staked out, all those at Oakport removed there- 
to. At Moorhead they did business in tents all winter. In March, 
1872, Mr. Bruns went to McCauleyville and bought a lot of 
lumber, hired teams, and hauled it to Moorhead. Bruns & Finkle 
then erected a frame building, of 21 by 50 feet. They continued 
to do business in this building until 1877, when they built a large 
brick store. 

We have given this somewhat lengthy introduction of Mr. 
Bruns into this history for the reason that he was a pioneer in 
promoting the industry of wheat raising in the Red River valley. 
In the winter of 1871-2, Mr. Bruns purchased 500 bushels of seed 
wheat, which he gathered along the Minnesota river and farther 
south and east, and transported it hundreds of miles by sleds. 


which wheat he distributed among the farmers of Clay and Nor- 
man counties, Minnesota, and Cass and Traill counties, Dakota. 
The facilities for raising wheat that year being poor and the 
grasshoppers very destructive, there was no surplus from the 
harvest in excess of the amount required for seed the next year. 
Early in 1874, Mr. Bruns organized a stock company which 
erected the first flouring mill and sawmill. This mill soon demon- 
strated that the wheat of the valley was of superior quality for 
making strong flour and excellent bread. The flour was awarded 
the first premium at the Minneapolis and Minnesota State fairs 
two consecutive seasons. The sawmill cut timber for the construc- 
tion of the steamboats, the Minnesota and Manitoba, built at 
Moorhead in 1875, by the Merchants' Transportation Company, of 
which James Douglas, brother of John Douglas of St. Paul, was 
president. They were the best boats ever on Red River. This 
assisted in opening up Manitoba and the Northwest Territory 
markets. Later the Upper Missouri and Black Hills countries 
were secured, and later still the Yellowstone country, as markets 
for the flour of this mill. It created a market for the wheat pro- 
duced within a wide radius, and for a number of years took all 
that was offered, rarely giving less than $1 per bushel. 

In 1878, Bruns and Finkle, seeing the necessity for more 
storage for the rapidly increasing production of wheat, erected a 
large steam elevator at Moorhead, with a capacity of 110,000 
bushels. It was the first steam elevator built in the Red River 
valley. Mr. Bruns informs the writer that in the fall of 1873 he 
shipped the first carload of wheat from the Red River to Lake 
Superior, which, by personal hard work in cleaning, was graded 
No. 2, though it certainly was No. 1, none like it ever having been 
shipped in the history of the world before. Mr. Bruns, in a per- 
sonal letter, says: "In the fall of 1874 I commenced to grind 
about all the wheat then grown in the Red River valley, and in 
the fall of 1875 I gathered wheat and other grain, not as before 
by the thousand but by the tens of thousands of bushels, and with 
wheat and flour of my own grinding supplied the Canadian gov- 
ernment and Mennonites with seed and bread throughout Mani- 

Of the pioneer farmers who broke land extensively and opened 


farms in Clay county are John and Patrick H. Lamb, Franklin J. 
Schreiber, G. S. Barnes, Lyman Loring, George M. Richardson, 
Captain W. H. Newcomb, A. M. Burdick, W. J. Bodkin, and 
Charles Brendemuehl. 

Early Wheat Raising Near Fort Abercrombie. 

Wheat was grown near Abercrombie, on the east or Minne- 
sota side of the river, in what is now Wilkin county, about as early 
as anywhere in the valley, except in the Selkirk settlement and 
in Pembina county, North Dakota, then the Territory of Dakota. 
Probably the first man to sow and harvest wheat in the upper 
or southern part of the valley was Honorable David McCauley. 
I append herewith his narrative just as he has given it to me. 

"I came to Abercrombie July 17, 1861, to act as post sutler, 
postmaster, and agent for the Northern Transportation Company. 
In the spring of 1862, I sowed a few acres of barley, planted 
potatoes, and opened up a garden, which were destroyed by the 
Indians in August. In the spring of 1864, I crossed over on the 
Minnesota side of the river opposite to the fort and commenced 
farming. In 1865 I sowed some seventy-five acres of oats and 
planted a few acres of potatoes, and continued to sow and plant 
the same crops until 1871. There was no market for wheat until 
that time, nor until the railroad reached Moorhead or Brecken- 
ridge. In the spring of 1872 I put in a few acres of wheat, and 
have continued the same up to the present time. This season 
(1899) I raised 10,000 bushels of wheat. In the earlier years the 
yield of wheat was about the same as now. The land that I 
cultivated in 1865 has been cropped every year since except three, 
and the yield in 1899 was as good as I have known it. I know 
of no wheat being sown in the valley earlier than mine. The 
following are some of the men who sowed wheat soon after I 
did: Edward Connolly and Mitchell Robert, Breckenridge ; 
Loure Bellman, J. R. Harris, and J. B. Welling, McCauley vill e ; 
Frank Herrick and John Eggen, Abercrombie. In the early days 
the only market for oats and potatoes was Fort Abercrombie." 

Development by Railroads. 

Prior to 1878 there were no settlements away from the Red, 
Red Lake, and Pembina rivers, in the lower or northern portion of 


the valley, so that, in treating of the Minnesota side north of the 
Northern Pacific railroad, it is apparent that no wheat was grown 
on that side (except near Moorhead) until the completion of the 
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba railroad (now the Great North- 
ern) to St. Vincent, when immigration set in, bringing settlers 
to many stations, who at once began to break land and sow it to 
wheat. The district between the railroad and Red River was 
first settled. 

It is a fact, which none will dispute, that the building of rail- 
roads into and through the valley has been the most important 
factor in settling the country and developing the resources of 
this fertile plain. Without these it would today be practically un- 
populated and undeveloped, as it remained for fifty years after 
the Selkirk settlers had demonstrated its adaptability to cultiva- 
tion. There might have been a fringe of settlements along the 
streams, but without more efficient means for transporting wheat 
and other agricultural products to market, there could not have 
been any great development and production. 

The Dalrymple Farm. 

Another leading factor in settling the country has been the 
so called bonanza farms. Those demonstrated on a large scale 
the practicability of producing wheat at a profit on the flat lands 
of the valley. They advertised the results of great operations, 
and made known to the world the wonderful possibilities of the 

The first of these was the Dalrymple farm, eighteen miles 
west of the Red River, opened up in 1875 and subsequent years. 
A brief description of this farm may be of interest. In the year 
1875, a number of large holders of the bonds of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Company, supposed to be the Grandin brothers, 
Messrs. Cass, Howe, and Cheney, who had taken the bonds at par 
and which were then worth only ten cents on the dollar, deter- 
mined to save as much as possible, and exchanged the bonds for 
a great block of the company's lands in the Red River valley. In 
March, 1875, Oliver Dalrymple, an experienced farmer of Minne- 
sota, examined the land and became convinced of its value for 
wheat growing. He therefore entered into a contract with the 



owners to test the merits of the soil, the terms of which contract 
are understood to be that they were to furnish the stock, imple- 
ments, and seed, with which to cultivate the land, and were to 
receive in return seven per cent, on the amount invested, Dal- 
rymple to have the option of paying back the principal and inter- 
est, at which time he was to be granted one-third of the land. In 
that year be broke 1,280 acres, and his first harvest, in 1876, yield- 
ed 32,000 bushels of the choicest wheat, or an average of a little 
more than twenty-three bushels per acre. 

As soon as the results of Mr. Dalrymple's experiment became 
known, capital began seeking the depreciated railroad bonds and 
exchanging them for land, and labor flocked from adjoining 
states to preempt government land. In May, June, and July, 
1879, the sales of government land amounted to nearly 700,000 
acres, and during the year, 1,500,000 acres were taken on home- 
stead, preemption, and tree claims in Dakota. 

The Dalrymple holdings comprised some 100,000 acres in all, 
and in 1878 the wheat acreage had been increased to 13,000 acres ; 
and it was increased from year to year until in 1895 there were 
some 65,000 acres under cultivation. The cultivated land was 
subdivided into tracts of 2,000 acres, each tract being managed 
by a superintendent and foreman, with its own set of books. 
Each estate had suitable and complete buildings, consisting of 
houses for superintendent and men, stables, granaries, tool-houses, 
and other buildings. As a matter of course, to carry on the 
Dalrymple farm required the services of a large number of men 
and horses, the use of many plows, harrows, seeders, harvesters, 
threshers and engines, wagons, and other implements and tools. 
A settlement was effected in 1896 and years following, Mr. 
Dalrymple taking his share, and the great farm was divided and 
now comprises, besides the Dalrymple, the Howe and Cheney 
farms, and perhaps others. 

The Grandin Farm. 

Another bonanza farm of large extent was the Grandin farm 
consisting of 38,000 acres, of which 14,000 acres in and around 
Grandin, and 6,000 acres near Mayville in Traill county, North 
Dakota, are now under cultivation. The first crop of wheat was 


grown and harvested on this farm in 1878. This farm was oper- 
ated in a similar manner as the Dalrymple farm, being divided 
into tracts of 1,500 acres, managed by a foreman. The two farms 
employ some 300 men and 300 horses, and use 100 plows, 50 seed- 
ers, 75 binders, 10 separators, and 10 engines, etc. The average 
yield of wheat on this farm has been 17 bushels per acre. In 
1899 a severe hailstorm destroyed eight sections of wheat on this 
farm, which was ripe for the harvest. That was the only wide- 
spread damage that has occurred to the crops of the farm in the 
twenty-one years it has been operated. 

There are a number of other bonanza farms on both sides of 
the river, as the Lockhart and Keystone farms, respectively in 
Norman and Polk counties, Minnesota, and the Dwight, Fairview, 
Cleveland, Downing, and Antelope farms in North Dakota. In 
fact, large farms have been opened in all the twelve counties, 
farms comprising three to five sections of land. They have served 
their purpose, and many of them have been reduced or divided 
and sold. 

Increase of Population and Wealth. 

It is interesting to note the rapid growth of population and 
wealth that has taken place in the Red River valley within thirty 
years. In that time many cities, villages, and hamlets, have been 
established and builded, some of which have grown until they 
may fairly be denominated as magnificent and metropolitan. It 
is hardly needed to name Fargo and Moorhead (one city in a 
commercial and social sense, although situated in different 
states) ; Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, similarly situated; 
and likewise Wahpeton and Breckenridge. Pembina and St. Vin- 
cent also are somewhat similarly situated, though more distant 
from each other. Besides there are Crookston, on the Red Lake 
river, Hallock, Warren, Ada, and Barnesville, in Minnesota, Graf- 
ton and Hillsboro, in North Dakota, and many others of less note 
in both states. 

In 1870 the population of the twelve counties was about 1,000. 
In 1880 it was 56,000. In 1890 it was 166,000. In 1900 it is esti- 
mated to be 350,000. The valuation of property in the valley in 
1870 was zero. At this date it is estimated at not less than 


$100,000,000; and I am speaking of assessed valuation, which is, 
as a matter of course, far short of actual valuation. 

Causes of Occasional Failures. 

While there has been a somewhat remarkable development of 
the wheat growing industry in the Red River valley, and it is 
undisputed that its soil and climate are as favorable as any in 
the United States, and perhaps in the world, yet many industrious 
men have scored failures. In every employment, business, or 
industry, failures sometimes occur; and therefore, if they have 
occurred in raising wheat where the conditions are favorable, it 
is not surprising. It is also clear that such failures are chargeable 
to the mistakes of the men so engaged, rather than to the country. 

From a long observation of the methods employed and of the 
equipment of those who have pursued the work, I am of the opin- 
ion that the chief cause of failure has been the fact that men 
have undertaken larger tasks than their means warranted. In 
the early years of the settlement of the valley men were infected 
as with a craze. Wheat was selling at a dollar and upwards per 
bushel, while land could be had by paying the government fees 
for making entry, or by purchase at $5 per acre. Stories of large 
yields and high prices were circulated, and many believed that 
they could make themselves rich in a few years by raising wheat. 
Many embarked in it on borrowed capital, secured at high rates 
of interest ; and some capital is needed although no payment of 
money was made in advance on the land. It must be broken and 
seeded, the crop harvested, threshed, and marketed. To do this 
requires horses, implements, and hire of laborers. Many men, 
doubtless, who have commenced in this way have succeeded ; but 
this result has been accomplished by superior skill, economy, good 
business management, and fortuitous circumstances. By far the 
greater number have failed in the end. They may have won some 
success for a year or more, but, when they found themselves 
ahead, greed got the better of their foresight and judgment, and 
they have contracted for more land and larger equipment. Then 
a year of light yield, of damage by flood, drouth or frost, and a 
fall of price in conjunction, have succeeded, which has greatly 
diminished the value of their harvested crop ; while the labor bills, 


the payments for machinery, the interest on borrowed capital, 
have piled up, and so the failure comes. 

If these men had been satisfied to let well enough alone, if 
they had continued to cultivate what they might have done with- 
out hiring much help or buying additional machinery, they would 
have weathered the unfavorable years, as their obligations would 
have been small, and as to obtaining a living, there is no question 
but that they could have done that, though their entire crop was 
a failure. They could have found work with their horses among 
their neighbors ; they could have cut hay on the wide prairies and 
have hauled it to market, or found employment sufficient to keep 
themselves and families, in a score of ways. 

It has been the undue haste to get rich, the reaching out and 
covering more land than they had means of doing, except on bor- 
rowed capital, that has been the ruin of so many. This inclination 
has also had another injurious effect. It has produced poor culti- 
vation, careless plowing and seeding, harvesting and threshing 
at unseasonable times, and general slighting of work, instead of 
thorough, timely and skillful cultivation, which always brings its 
reward, but the other kind never. 

Better and More Diversified Cultivation Needed. 

I am of the firm opinion that, whereas the average of wheat 
produced from an acre of land in the valley is about fifteen bush- 
els per acre, or in some years a little more, it could be raised to 
28 or 30 bushels; and that, while there are now produced crops 
ranging from 12 to 30 bushels per acre, there could be secured 30 
to 40 bushels almost invariably. I am confirmed in this opinion 
by numerous instances where small fields which have been espe- 
cially treated and cultivated, sown to wheat, have produced 35 to 
40 bushels per acre. Thus we have seen pieces which had been 
cultivated to roots, potatoes, garden vegetables, etc., in previous 
years, the cultivation of which crops has required deep tillage, 
frequent stirring of the ground with plow or cultivator, and other 
pieces which had been seeded to timothy and pastured, being 
plowed and sown to wheat, produce 35 and as high as 42 bushels 
per acre in years when the adjoining large fields did not average 
more than 16 or 18 bushels per acre. 


And so the conclusion is drawn that when the valley becomes 
more thickly settled, the value of land higher, compelling to bet- 
ter cultivation, and in less extensive tracts, no man undertaking 
to exceed 320 acres, the yield per acre will be increased. When 
this time comes, it will be accompanied also with more diversified 
farming. There will be flocks and herds, milk and butter, eggs 
and fowl, beef, pork and mutton, etc.; and then the Red River 
valley will be, according to its extent, the most productive region 
in the whole country. 

Railroad Freight Rates and Legislation. 

Along in 1883, or 1884, the price of wheat at Red River points 
having fallen to about 60 cents, there was little or no profit in its 
production and in many cases a considerable loss, which caused 
great uneasiness and dissatisfaction among the farmers. They 
looked about them for some relief, and, as the cost of transport- 
ing wheat to the terminal points was the same, namely, 25 cents 
per hundred pounds, or 15 cents per bushel, as when wheat sold 
for $1.00 or more per bushel, they were of opinion that the freight 
charge should be reduced. They thought that the railroad com- 
panies might fairly be called upon to share with them some of the 
loss that they sustained. Appeals to the companies for reduction 
were without effect. Therefore the farmers resolved to secure a 
reduction, and other reforms, connected therewith, by political 
action, and they began holding meetings, where the whole matter 
was discussed and resolutions passed. A good deal of complaint 
was also made against the alleged close alliance that existed be- 
tween the railroad companies, the elevator companies, and the 
millers' association, by which every producer was compelled to 
pass his wheat through an elevator and pay its charges for hand- 
ling, which fixed its grade, and he generally had to sell it to the 
elevator at such a price as the company owning the elevator might 
give. The farmer wanted the right to load on cars and ship direct 
to a terminal market. This agitation had its birth in Clay county, 
and it extended throughout the wheat-raising districts of the 
state. It was the promoting cause for the organization of the 
Farmers ' Alliance, which afterward became a political party, and 


evolved into the People's party. It had its effect, and the legisla- 
ture, in its session of 1885, passed an act, approved March 5, 1885, 
which regulated railroads and provided for the board of railroad 
and warehouse commissioners. 

Briefly stated, the law provided that the railroad companies 
should make annual reports to the board of commissioners, show- 
ing amount of stock subscribed, amount of assets and liabilities, 
amount of debt, estimated value of roadbed, of rolling stock, of 
stations and buildings, mileage of main tracks and of branches, 
tons of through and local freight carried, monthly earnings for 
carrying passengers and freight, expenses incurred in running 
passenger and freight trains, and all other expenses, rate of pas- 
senger fare, tariff of freights, and many other minor particulars 
and things ; and the commission was authorized to make and pro- 
pound any other interrogatories relating to the condition, opera- 
tion and control of railroads in this state, as might be necessary, 
and they were empowered to make investigation, examine books, 
etc. ; and proper penalties were provided for in case of refusal of 
companies to furnish the information demanded. It also required 
every railroad company to permit any person or company to build 
and operate elevators at any of its way stations. It compelled 
railroads to furnish cars on application for transporting grain 
stored in any and all elevators or warehouses without discrimina- 
tion. It prohibited extortion and discrimination in rates, and 
also empowered the commission to notify any railroad company 
of any changes in rates, or in operation of roads, that in their 
judgment ought to be made for carrying passengers or freight, 
and, in case of refusal of the company to make them, to institute 
suit to compel such changes or reductions. 

At the same time the legislature passed an act to regulate 
elevators and warehouses, and for the inspection and weighing of 
grain. The main provisions of this act may be stated as follows : 
Declaring all elevators and warehouses at Duluth, Minneapolis, 
and St. Paul, public; requiring their proprietors to take out 
license ; providing that such elevators and warehouses shall re- 
ceive grain for storage without discrimination, to give receipts 
therefor, to deliver the grain or return the receipt ; requiring the 


owner or lessee to make and post weekly in a conspicuous place 
a statement of kind and grade of grain received, to send a report 
daily to the state registrar, and to publish rates for storage ; pro- 
hibiting the mixing together of grain of different grades; pro- 
viding for the appointment of a state weighmaster and assistants, 
who shall weigh grain at points where it is inspected; providing 
for the appointment of a chief inspector and of deputy inspec- 
tors, for the inspection and grading of grain under such rules as 
the commission shall prescribe, for which inspection a fee shall 
be collected sufficient to meet the expenses of the service; and 
providing that the commisison shall establish Minnesota grades 
and publish the same. 

Under these laws and amendments thereto, it is well known 
and undisputed that there has been much more freedom in the 
shipment of wheat and other grain than before. Farmers have 
since been able to order cars to a side track and load them from 
their wheat fields, or otherwise, whence they are hauled to such 
market as they shall designate. The commissioners have, under 
the law, defined and established grades of wheat, and the inspec- 
tion is made at the terminals in accordance therewith, and the 
wheat is also weighed. 

The operation of this law seems to have been beneficial and 
satisfactory for the most part. The season of 1898 was an excep- 
tion, when it was charged that the grades were suddenly stiffened, 
by which the producer lost one or more grades, or from 4 to 7 
cents in value per bushel of wheat, and that this stiffening was 
without just ground. These charges also originated, as the agita- 
tion for reduction of freight charges had done, in Clay county, 
and were made an issue in the state election that year ; and it is 
believed that, as Honorable John Lind, the candidate for gov- 
ernor of the Democrats, Populists, and Silver Republicans, cham- 
pioned them, it gave him many votes. They were substantially 
verified by an investigation made by a joint committee of the 

The freight on wheat, in cents per 100 pounds, since the settle- 
ment of the Red River valley, from different primary points to 
Minneapolis and Duluth, has been as follows : 


To Minneapolis. To Duluth. 

Sept. Oct. July Sept. Oct. July 
Various 1, 9, 21, 1, 9, 21, 

Dates 1891 1895 1898 1891 1895 1898 

Morris 28c. 12 12 12 15 15 14} 

Breckenridge 35 14 14 13 15 15 14} 

Crookston 27 16J 16} 14 16} 16} 14 

St. Vincent 35 18 18 16 18 18 16 

Moorhead 25 15} 15} 14} 15} 15} 14} 

Fargo 25 15} 15} 14} 15} 15} 14} 

Glyndon 25 15} 15} 14 15} 15} 14 

Fergus Falls 23 14 14 13 14} 14} 14 

Old and New Methods of Wheat Farming. 

Since the first wheat was grown in the Red River valley, a 
revolution has occurred in plowing, seeding, harvesting, and 
threshing. By the old method of plowing, with the best plow 
and horses, one man with a 14-inch walking plow and a pair of 
good horses, might plow two and a half acres of land in a day. 
Now one man with a gang plow, turning 28 inches, and drawn 
by four .horses, can plow four and a half acres. The area is not 
quite doubled for the reason that the speed is somewhat slackened 
by increased weight, the driver riding on the plow, thus render- 
ing the labor much easier to him. 

By the old method of seeding by hand one man could sow 
sixteen acres in a day, and the land had to be harrowed and 
dragged, often with tree tops, to smooth it. Now with a drill, 
drawn by four horses, one man will put in twenty-five acres and 


no harrowing is necessary afterward, although many harrow the 
land previous to seeding. 

By the old method of cutting grain with a cradle a good man 
could cut four acres, while it required another man to rake and 
bind it. Now with the best binder, drawn by three horses, he 
can cut sixteen acres, and the machine binds it, and carries along 
a number of bundles and drops them in rows. 

In threshing there is even more disparity in the amount ac- 
complished by modern machinery over the old methods. In fact, 
the difference is so great that a comparison is not worth while. 
With the best and largest threshing machine, 3,500 bushels of 
wheat can be threshed in a day. Thus on land producing an aver- 
age of 20 bushels per acre, one day's work will thresh the wheat 
grown on 175 acres. The area of land covered in a day will be 
more or less than this, according to the average yield per acre. 
To operate this machine, which is provided with a self-feeder and 
an automatic band-cutter, also a blower which stacks the straw, 
only four men are required. To haul the bundles to the machine 
requires eighteen men and twenty horses, or ten wagons with two 
horses to each. The number of men and horses and wagons re- 
quired to do the hauling of the threshed wheat from the machine 
to the granary, elevator, or cars, depends upon the distance to be 
traversed. It costs at the present time ten cents per bushel to 
thresh the wheat and load it into wagon tanks. 

Wheat Production and Its Value, 1898. 

I have gathered the statistics of wheat acreage and yield for 
1898 from the most reliable sources obtainable, namely, from the 
county auditor's office of each county which lies partly or mainly 
in the Red River valley south of the international boundary. 
Some of the officers reported that the statistics on this head as 
furnished by the assessors were not full, owing to the failure of 
some of the assessors to make returns ; but in these cases, at my 
request, the auditors furnished me with estimates based upon 
other sources of information. Therefore, although the figures in 
the following table cannot be claimed to be absolutely correct, 
they approach accuracy, and, it is believed, are in no case 



Acreage and Production of Wheat in 1898 in the Counties of the 
Red River Valley. 

Counties in Minnesota. 

Acres. Bushels. 

Wilkin 126,418 1,896,270 

Clay 210,440 3,367,040 

Norman 166,377 2,438,662 

Polk 347,346 4,862,844 

Marshall 186,716 2,614,024 

Kittson 142,857 2,000,000 

1,180,154 17,178,840 
Counties in North Dakota. 

Acres. Bushels. 

Richland 226,720 3,057,714 

Cass 495,499 7,916,896 

Traill 271,907 5,371,129 

Grand Forks 329,498 5,676,322 

Walsh 257,500 3,960,175 

Pembina 258,211 4,956,680 

1,839,335 30,938,916 

Total 3,019,489 48,117,756 

Assuming that the average price of wheat for the year's crop 
at points of production was 60 cents per bushel, the value of the 
crop for 1898 to the producers was $28,870,653. This sum meas- 
ures the wealth-creating value of this one staple for the year 
named. But this is not the whole story. The wheat farmers of 
the twelve Red River valley counties produced a greater value. 
They added a much larger amount than nearly twenty-nine mil- 
lion dollars to the wealth of the country. I assume that this 
crop was transported either as wheat or flour to New York. As 
a matter of course, not all of it was actually carried direct to New 
York, but a large part of it was carried to that port, either for 
domestic consumption or for export ; and it is fair to assume that 


it would cost on the average as much in local freights and han- 
dling charges to distribute the other portion to the consumers 
throughout the country as to carry it through to New York. The 
cost of carriage to New York by all rail is about 24 1 / 4 cents per 
bushel ; partly by rail and partly by lake and canal it is about 20 
cents. Basing the calculation on a rate of 21 cents (arbitrarily 
found, for it is difficult to figure on an average rate for the 
year accurately, owing to the fluctuations in the lake and canal 
rate, or to ascertain the amount shipped by that route and the 
amount shipped by rail), the added value is $10,104,728. This 
increased value is properly assigned to the wheat, for the wheat 
pays the whole cost of marketing it. This large sum of ten mil- 
lion dollars was earned by the railroads, elevators, inspectors and 
weighers, boats, transferers, etc., which gave employment to large 
numbers of men. Thus the wheat produced in 1898, by the 
farmers of these twelve counties, which include the part of the 
Red River valley in the United States, added to the wealth of the 
country some thirty-nine millions of dollars ; and in the year 1899, 
just past, it is probably nearly as much. 

An explanation is needed, however, as to the actual cash price 
received by the producers for their crop of wheat for the year 
1898. I find upon a careful examination of the price paid at 
Moorhead that the average price for the year was about 57 cents 
per bushel ; that its average price for the four months of Septem- 
ber, October, November and December, 1898, was 55 cents; and 
for the remaining eight months of the year, from January to 
August, 1899, the average price was 59 cents, making an average 
for the year of 57 cents per bushel. It is a fact which must be 
recognized that the producers in the section I am treating of sell 
the bulk of their crop in the four months prior to January 1 ; so 
that I will make the calculation of value of the crop produced in 
the twelve Red River valley counties on this basis of its average 
local price for that period, which shows as follows: 48,117,756 
bushels at 55 cents is $26,464,765.80. This is the minimum amount 
of value, as, for such part of the crop as was sold by producers 
after January 1, 1899, four cents more per bushel on the average 
was realized. This explanation does not affect the foregoing 
argument so far as it relates to the increased value of the wheat 


at points of consumption and export, all of which must be in- 
cluded in any calculation as to the wealth-creating value of the 

Letter from Hon. Charles Cavalier. 

I have mentioned Charles Cavalier, of Pembina, who has taken 
great interest in my labors in gathering materials for this paper, 
and who has given me much valuable assistance. In further 
acknowledgment thereof, and in compliment to him, I desire to 
embrace herein a portion of a recent letter of his to me as follows : 

"It would be a pleasant thing for me to be present with them 
[meaning this annual meeting of the society] and see some of the 
old faces of fifty years ago, but alas, the infirmities of eighty-one 
years forbid it. Present my respects to them, and tell them that 
though far away, I am with them in mind if not in body. I still 
keep up an occasional correspondence with my old friend, A. L. 
Larpenteur, and through him I hear from Bill Murray and others 
of the old timers, and I see occasionally the name of ex-Governor 
Ramsey, for whom I have a high regard and a warm spot in my 
heart. He appointed me first territorial librarian, and has in 
many instances aided and befriended me. May he live until he 
learns to enjoy the good things of this footstool of God, and then, 
after his life of usefulness and goodness, tranquilly fall asleep and 
awake in the kingdom prepared for him and all of us who have 
kept God's commandments or tried to do so. Such is the wish of 
this old settler whose mundane existence of close onto eighty-one 
years has been one of pleasure and enjoyment far exceeding its 
many ills and misery. My health is now tolerably fair." 

Greatness of the Resources of Minnesota. 

I have not found it practicable to treat wheat-growing as a 
state- wide industry, owing to its magnitude, and have confined 
myself strictly to the subject assigned to me, which has necessi- 
tated as much labor and research as I have been able, while edit- 
ing a daily and weekly newspaper, to devote to it. With more 
abundant leisure I might properly have touched upon the expan- 
sive prairies of the state, both level and rolling, and told some- 
thing of their productions, not only of their wheat, which makes 


the best bread ever eaten by man, but of their rye, oats, barley, 
corn, flax-seed and potatoes; of their green meadows, which 
abound with luxuriant grass and furnish food for countless flocks 
and herds, and of the Minnesota cow, whose milk, after being 
treated in the creameries, makes the very best butter known to 
civilization; of the fruit orchards, gardens, flowers, shrubbery, 
etc., together with the neat and cozy dwellings that dot them o'er 
and are the homes of a hardy, happy and prosperous people. 

I might have touched upon the great extent of forests, from 
which have been taken so many millions of feet of the best white 
pine and hardwood lumber, adding largely to the wealth of the 
state, and which are not yet exhausted. 

I might have told of the iron mines, which, for richness and 
extent, have been one of the marvels of the closing part of the 
nineteenth century, and which are yet, maybe, to exceed the most 
sanguine expectations of enthusiasts ; of the mighty river having 
its rise in our state, whose commerce has been so great a factor 
in the making of the history of the North American continent, 
and advancing its civilization; and of the smaller rivers, which 
are interesting in other ways. 

I might have dwelt at length upon the surpassing beauty of 
the state 's landscape, whose ten thousand lakes are bordered by a 
superb growth of primeval forest timber, through whose foliage 
the pure air of a wholesome climate sings a ceaseless lullaby to 
exhausted humanity, which seeks quiet and rest upon their bosom. 
In these lakes the finny tribe leap and splash and entice the skill 
of the expert angler, as well as the efforts of the novice, affording 
the most exquisite enjoyment and the most health-giving and re- 
cuperative recreation that man is blessed with, and whose skill, 
good luck, or patience is rewarded by the catch of as good food 
fish as swim. 

And, lastly, I might have said that this great, resourceful and 
fertile state of ours, at the age of fifty years, contains a population 
of nearly two millions of as intelligent, generous, brave, and at 
the same time as gentle, industrious, progressive and patriotic 
people, as can be found in any state in all this broad land. 




B. G. Skulason and Sveinbjorn Johnson, M. A. 

Norwegians in the Red Eiver Valley. 

In a sketch as limited as this must necessarily be, an account 
of the Norwegians 'in the Red River valley will be very incom- 
plete. If this branch of the northern race were to be treated as 
the scope and magnitude of the subject demand, in all the area 
traversed by the Red river, the result of such a labor would fill 
a volume. Even within the territory selected, North Dakota and 
Minnesota, the extent of the topic does not allow this article to 
pretend to be more than a modest introduction. 

In the first quarters of the nineteenth century the concentra- 
tion of land in the hands of a few had become quite complete in 
Norway. To a great extent cultivation was carried on by a small 
portion of the population and even then not to the full capacity 
of the soil. With this economic condition the people gradually 
became dissatisfied and in it may be found one of the causes of 
emigration. The significance of this fact becomes all the more 
apparent when it is considered that twenty-five per cent of all 
Scandinavians who come to this country engage in agriculture 
(0. M. Nelson, Minneapolis). The unlimited supply of free land 
in the United States together with the liberal wages of labor as 
compared with the prevailing scale of European countries proved 
a powerful inducement to the landless and laboring classes. In 
addition many were dissatisfied with the somewhat intolerant 




character of the laws concerning the state religion. Though these 
regulations on the whole were not seriously oppressive, yet with 
the causes above mentioned they gave impetus to the rising tide 
of discontent which culminated in emigration. 

Norwegians gained acquaintance with this country mainly 
through correspondence. In the early part of the century a few 
sailors and adventurers had located in the United States. These 
communicated with friends and papers in the old country, thereby 
spreading a knowledge of the United States and of her oppor- 
tunities. Then, in 1839, Ole Rynning published "True Account 
of America," which was almost universally read. In addition, 
steamship companies prepared accounts of America which they 
assiduously circulated in Norway and other European countries. 
From these sources, then, Norwegians had acquired information 
concerning the United States sufficient to inspire them with 
confidence in her possibilities. 

The first immigrants from Norway settled in the Eastern 
states and on the frontier, following the same as it gradually 
expanded towards the west. According to the census of 1850 
seven Norwegians were then living in Minnesota, but it was not 
until after 1852 that they began to settle permanently in that 
state. One of the first settlers was Tosten Johnson, Houston 
county, who came from Norway in 1851 and to Minnesota in 
1852. From this date the influx of Norwegians continued un- 
abated. Some came directly from Norway, while many came 
from other states. The first Norwegians in Lac qui Parle county 
came from Fayette county, Iowa, in 1869, led by P. J. Jacobsen. 
Similarly the first Norwegian settlers in Lincoln county had 
previously lived in Boone county, Illinois, having moved thither 
from Wisconsin in 1847. The other counties along the Red river, 
and every part of the state where Norwegians are found, were 
thus settled by Norwegians from Iowa, Wisconsin and other 
states. They drifted with that westward sweeping tide of popu- 
lation the rize of which has been unchecked until it subsides 
again on the quiet shores of the Pacific. 

According to Martin Ulvestad (Normaendene i America, Min- 
neapolis, 1907), the first Norwegian to establish a home in North 
Dakota was N. E. Nelson, father-in-law of the noted politician, 


Judson Lamoure, and customs collector at Pembina in 1869. His 
farm was in Pembina township. Two other Norwegian settle- 
ments were formed in this county, one near St. Thomas and the 
other in Park township, west of Hensel, in 1880 and 1881 respec- 
tively. Norwegians in this county are comparatively few, their 
settlements lying in the counties to the south and west. 

Among the first Norwegian settlers in Walsh county the 
next south of Pembina along the Red river were O. M. Dahl and 
Ole Helgeson. They settled near the present site of Nash, in 
1878. At this date, says Dahl, the only people in the neighbor- 
hood were a few metisse near the Red river. In this county a 
large percentage of the population is of Norwegian descent, they 
ranking the highest of the foreign born, the Canadians alone 
excepted (State Hist. Society, N. D., Vol. 1, p. 190). 

In 1872, the Norwegians Halvor Hansen and Halvor Bentru 
settled in Grand Forks county. Two years later eight families 
arrived from Northwood, Iowa, and settled near the Goose river. 
At this date the nearest market was Fargo, where the farmers 
sold their produce. Horses were then a luxury which few could 
afford and oxen were generally used in doing the work con- 
nected with the farm. Of the foreign born population in this 
county the Norwegians are most numerous, while only one other 
county in the state, Traill, has a greater number of people of 
Norwegian extraction. 

In Traill county next south of Grand Forks the foreign 
born Norwegians are more than twenty-five per cent of the total 
population. It ranks first in the state in the number of its 
Norwegians and Cass, next south, third. 

In 1870, a number of Scandinavians came from Dunn county, 
Wisconsin, and settled in Richland county near Ft. Abercrombie. 
Among these were Einar Hoel and Arnt Skarvold. The nearest 
market was Alexandria, one hundred miles away. This distance 
was traveled by oxen. Many of the settlers were employed at 
the fort and on boats on the Red river. At this time there were 
about three hundred soldiers at the fort, hence farmers found 
here a convenient market for some of their farm and dairy 

From the few facts here given it appears that in all the 



counties of the Red River valley bordering on the Red river 
the Norwegians are the most numerous of the foreign born 
population. Indeed, in the entire southeastern corner of the state 
embracing twelve counties, extending from Walsh on the north 
to the state boundary line on the south, the Norwegians are the 
predominating element of the foreign born population. Again, 
from Grand Forks county on the east to the western extremity 
of "Ward, through an unbroken line of six counties, the same 
fact appears. According to the census of 1900, the foreign born 
Norwegians in some of these embraced over twenty-six per cent of 
the total population, and, this, of course, leaves out of consid- 
eration all those of Norwegian parentage, born in this country. 
In many townships in these counties the nationality of over 
ninety per cent of the landowners is Norwegian. 

If by reason of their numbers the Norwegians on the North 
Dakota side of the Red river have become important, they have 
in Minnesota become a power always to be reckoned with. Polit- 
ically they are the strongest foreign element in the state and any 
candidate for a state or United States office, who by some im- 
politic word or deed has aroused their antagonism, may well 
have misgivings as to the success of his political aspirations. 
The distinguished Senator Knute Nelson is a Norwegian and rep- 
resents no more ably the state of Minnesota that he well typifies 
the sterling qualities of his race. The representatives Steenerson 
and Volstad, the latter of whom is one of the ablest lawyers in 
the lower house of congress, are Norwegians. Similarly, one of 
North Dakota's representatives, A. J. Gronna, is a Norwegian, 
and two or three of the state officers come from the same stock. 
In North Dakota a Scandinavian League has been organized 
and already gives promise of exerting considerable influence on, 
if not giving direction to, the current of North Dakota politics. 
In Minnesota 170 Norwegians have set in either branch of the 
state legislature since 1857-58 and in 1869 Colonel Mattson was 
elected secretary of state, being the first Norwegian to fill a 
state office. 

The political importance of the Norwegians in the Red River 
valley, then, can scarcely be overestimated. Their numbers alone 
are ample proof of this statement. But even were their numeri- 


cal rank much lower than it is, the energy and ambition that 
for centuries have been characteristic of the race would be 
inconsistent with an attitude of indifference toward the problems 
that from time to time agitate the public mind. Of political 
apathy no one will venture to accuse them. The league referred 
to in another paragraph bespeaks at least a passing interest in 
public affairs. 

Though the Norwegians in the valley are energetic farmers 
and ambitious in politics, they are far from being unmindful of 
the interests of education. Of the students annually at the 
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, over thirty per cent 
are Scandinavians, principally Norwegians and Icelanders. 
Through the efforts of the Norwegian Synod, aided by the 
munificence of individuals apart therefrom, several Norwegian 
schools have been established in the Red River valley. A mere 
mention of a few of these is all the scope of this article allows. 
Among the more important ones are Augsburg Seminary, Min- 
neapolis, moved thither from Marshall, Wis., 1879; St. Olaf's 
College, Northwood, opened in 1875; Concordia College, Moor- 
head; Glenwood Academy, Glenwood, all in Minnesota; Grand 
Forks College, Grand Forks, N. D., and others in different parts 
of the valley. Some of these are women 's schools exclusively, 
but most do work intended to prepare students for entrance into 
advanced theological institutions. 

Of the readiness with which Norwegians adapt themselves 
to American conditions and absorb American ideas, but little 
can be said in this sketch. While a considerable number of old 
country customs still survive and indeed show few symptoms 
of lessening vitality, yet it is apparent that, like other races 
that have come to this country, they cannot long resist the cur- 
rents of our complex national life that inevitably lead to Ameri- 
canization. Their parochial schools tend to stimulate an interest 
in and to prolong the survival of the Norwegian language and 
literature. But these are not maintained in all communities. 
But it is the Lutheran church that is the most powerful agent 
in counteracting the forces that work for assimilation. But even 
her efforts seem insufficient to stem the tide which threatens to 
sweep old world customs into oblivion. Formerly services were 


invariably conducted in Norwegian. But now she must conform 
her practices to the demands of the people and in towns, at 
least, services are frequently carried on in English. Though 
this does not necessarily mean that Norwegian has been lost by 
the majority, yet it is a fact that reading or speaking knowledge 
of the language has ceased to be universal, and that even with 
young people who come from communities where Norwegians 
abound. Undoubtedly the one force most effective in pushing 
Norwegian into the shade is the public school system of the 
country. The young are here trained in English, the language 
of whatever business or profession they may enter. Whether 
this process will continue until Norwegian becomes a dead tongue 
is a matter of conjecture, but however that may be, the fact 
cannot be denied that the forces which make for such a con- 
summation are powerful indeed. 

Icelanders in the Red River Valley. 

Outside the Red River valley and in some localities thereof 
Iceland and Icelanders are quite meaningless terms. In the minds 
of the mass and even of those who pretend to possess considerable 
education, the mental pictures called into being by these words 
are distorted, vague and false. The ignorance of almost every 
historical and ethnological fact connected with the people of 
this rock ribbed island of the midnight sun frequently assumes 
grotesque and ludicrous forms. It may somewhat moderate the 
severity of our judgment of those whose range of knowledge is 
no wider than this that prejudiced and superficial accounts of 
writers of travel have found their way into print where Iceland 
is regarded as a curiosity in spite of the fact that she has a his- 
tory, a literature and mythology no less interesting and imposing 
than those of classic Greece. (An example of such accounts is 
"Visit to Iceland," by Ida Pfeiffer, 1852, and "Faroes and Ice- 
land," by Nelson Annandale, 1905, the latter author, though 
writing in the name of science, being equally erroneous in his 
facts and his conclusions.) In view of this condition, therefore, 
a few historical facts concerning the original home of the people 
must be referred to before proceeding with an account of the 
Icelanders in the valley. 

Iceland was discovered by people from Norway about 874 


and settled by Scandinavians soon thereafter. There having been 
no aborigines to conquer or assimilate, the present inhabitants 
of the island are of purely Norse extraction except in so far as 
some of the pioneers had mixed with the Celts in Ireland prior 
to their location in Iceland. 

The cause of emigration from Norway was the activity of 
Harold the Fairhaired in consolidating the small kingdoms under 
his personal rule. This unification was inconsistent with the 
ideas of liberty cherished by Norse chiefs and vikings. The 
clash between the prerogatives of kingship and the principles of 
liberty was inexorable. The defeated chiefs went to Iceland, 
where Harold could on no pretext presume to exercise dominion. 

In 1262, having been a republic for nearly four hundred years, 
Iceland entered into a voluntary union with Norway, voidable 
if the latter, in the judgment of the "best men," should violate 
the terms of the compact. Later, under the Calmar treaty, the 
Scandinavian countries Norway, Sweden and Denmark were 
united under the Danish crown and Iceland became a part of 
the union. In 1814 when Norway was transferred to Sweden by 
the congress of Vienna no disposition was made of Iceland and 
she has since remained under the jurisdiction of Denmark. 

The island has suffered all the miseries tyranny entails. Lying 
in the lap of the Arctic circle and frequently enveloped in Arctic 
ice, the natural produce of the island could not meet the needs 
of the people. But Denmark had a forced monopoly of Icelandic 
trade. The people were forbidden to trade with anyone not a 
subject of Denmark. The foreigner thus dictated the price at 
which he bought as well as that at which he sold. This unnatural 
economic condition, coupled with the fierce winters of some years, 
caused much suffering. In some years great numbers perished 
from starvation. The responsibility for this tragic condition 
rests partly with the relentless hand of nature and partly with 
the cruel greed of the Danish crown. Discontent developed from 
year to year and the constitutional strife between Denmark and 
the island continued with ever increasing intensity. At last the 
king had to yield. In 1874 a constitution was granted to Iceland. 
But it was a tardy concession. The fever of emigration had set 
in and has not yet run its course. 


In 1871 four Icelanders went to Wisconsin. These were soon 
followed by others. In 1873 another party landed on Canadian 
soil, remaining for two years in Toronto and going thence to 
the present site of Gimli, Manitoba, on the west shore of Lake 
Winnipeg. Letters were exchanged and hundreds of people emi- 
grated, some joining the settlement on Washington Island, Wis- 
consin, others that near Lake Winnipeg. In 1876 two Icelandic 
colonies of considerable size were in the course of development 
in the Western hemisphere. The first settlers in the Eed River 
valley in Lyon county, Minnesota, and Pembina county, North 
Dakota were drawn from these. 

The history of any permanent colony is always closely con- 
nected with that of the church. To this elementary principle of 
social progress the Icelandic colonies are no exception. In 
1876 Pall Thorlaksson, who at the time was serving a Lutheran 
congregation in Wisconsin, was called by the Icelanders near 
Lake Winnipeg to serve them in a professional capacity. When 
coming down the Red river, he was much impressed with the 
agricultural possibilities of the country on either side. His con- 
fidence in the latent resources of the Dakota plains was further 
increased by the remarks of the captain of the boat, who made 
no attempt to conceal his faith in the future of the valley. On 
reaching the colony Rev. Mr. Thorlaksson was at once convinced 
that the land selected by his countrymen would never yield the 
reward due them for their toiL The country was low, marshy 
and generally quite heavily timbered. But these facts discour- 
aged all hope of progressive farming, since the settlers were poor 
and without agricultural experience. Discontent had begun to 
develop, which was rather increased than diminished by the 
passage of time. The climax of unrest was reached with the 
smallpox epidemic during the winter of 1876-77 and many now 
determined to leave, as soon as possible, the place that must 
forever be associated with the keenest suffering and sorrow of 
their lives. Accordingly in 1878, Johann P. Hallsson, Jon 
Horgdal, Jonas Jonasson and others left New Iceland, as the 
settlement was called, and located in Pembina county, about nine 
miles west of Cavalier, and where the postoffice of Hallsson now 


stands. The log cabin erected by J. P. Hallsson is still standing 
in the village. 

This colony rapidly expanded in all directions. Settlers came 
from Lake Winnipeg and Wisconsin, the first from the latter 
coming in 1880. The Icelanders from Washington Island settled 
around the present site of Gardar, Pembina county. Having 
acquired considerable property in Wisconsin, the people of the 
Gardar community soon ranked among the most prosperous 
Icelanders in the valley. 

The first Icelandic settlers in Lyon county, Minnesota, came 
from the Wisconsin colony in 1873. Hon. E. H. Bergman the 
first Icelander in America to sit in a representative legislative 
assembly, being a member of the last territorial legislature of 
Dakota was among the pioneers. In 1880 he settled near 
Gardar, in Pembina county, where he has remained ever since. 
This colony grew by additions from Wisconsin and directly from 
Iceland. Many Icelandic business and porfessional men now 
live in the city of Minneota, Lyon county, Minnesota. The only 
Icelandic paper in the United States, the Vinland, is published 
here. The publisher of the weekly Minneota Mascot is an Ice- 
lander. There are three lawyers, one doctor and a Lutheran 
minister in the city, all of whom are Icelanders. The most promi- 
nent business men of the place are Icelanders. This colony has 
reached a high degree of prosperity. The people have a reputa- 
tion for industry and business integrity that reaches far beyond 
the limits of the county. 

It is impossible within the limits prescribed to detail the 
history of the Icelandic settlement in Pembina county, North 
Dakota. It grew steadily until now it numbers between two 
and three thousand people. From it have gone families who 
became pioneers in other Icelandic settlements in Cavalier, Bot- 
tineau, Ward and McHenry counties, North Dakota, Roseau 
county, Minnesota, at several points on the Pacific coast and in 
the provinces of Northwest Canada. They suffered all the priva- 
tions of pioneer life, intensified by extreme poverty in the early 
years of settlement. During the winter of 1879-80, the prospects 
of the colony were the darkest in its history. Indeed, without 
the aid given by Pall Thorlaksson, who assumed heavy personal 


liabilities in obtaining provisions for the settlers, it is difficult to 
see how they could have secured the necessities of life. But this 
unselfish man provided not only for the material needs. He 
passed from man to man and house to house, comforting the 
sick and inspiring hope where despair had entered. Though he 
felt the hand of a fatal disease upon him, he spared 110 effort to 
bring the colony safely over this critical period. He died (in 
1882) in the happy assurance that the colony was out of danger. 

The nearest market of this colony in the pioneer days was 
St. Vincent, Minnesota, about fifty miles from the central point of 
the settlement. Wheat was hauled thither by oxen. This was 
a slow and often dangerous process, for robberies were not infre- 
quently committed. In 1881 the Great Northern was built through 
St. Thomas, Glasston and Hamilton, thereby bringing the grain 
market nearer the settlement. Later still the same company built 
a road through Hensel to Cavalier. The grain market was now 
within easy reach of any settler in the colony. 

The people came from Iceland with habits of industry firmly 
established and as a result they have been successful in whatever 
occupation has engaged their attention. Prosperous business 
enterprises are conducted by Icelanders in the cities of Pembina 
and Cavalier, and the villages of Akra, Hensel, Hallasson, Moun- 
tain and Gardar. As farmers they have met with equal success. 
Concentration of land, however, is steadily increasing. But this, 
in most instances, is not the result of individual failures. For 
reasons easy of ascertainment, but which space does not allow 
us to enumerate, farmers from time to time sell their land and 
move to the Canadian Northwest or to the Pacific coast. 

On the whole the people seem progressive in their ideas. 
They readily adopt the latest and most approved methods or 
implements in whatever business or industry they may be en- 
gaged. Every modern convenience is valued according to its 
merits. Rural mail routes run through the settlement in different 
places. Likewise, rural telephones have become general through- 
out the length and breadth of the colony. A few years ago the 
Edinburg and Gardar Telephone Company was organized largely 
through the initiative of Hon. E. H. Bergman. This company 
extended its wires through the Icelandic townships of Gardar and 


Thingvalla. Later lines were built among the Icelandic farmers 
of Park and Akra townships, by another company, however. 

In religion the Icelanders of the Red River valley are 
Lutherans. Pall Thorlaksson organized congregations as fast as 
settlements were formed. There are now eight congregations in 
Pembina and Cavalier counties, served by two pastors H. B. 
Thorgrimson, Akra, and K. K. Olafsson, Gardar. The congrega- 
tions in the Icelandic colony in Lyon county, Minnesota, are 
served by Rev. B. B. Jonsson. All the organizations belong to 
the Icelandic Lutheran Synod of America, which meets in con- 
vention every year. Services are uniformly conducted in the 
Icelandic language. 

The influence of the church is the power which the forces of 
assimilation find most difficult to overcome. She is the strongest 
link in the chain of customs and traditions which connects the 
new environment with the old. With her, it seems, rests the fate 
of the Icelandic language. If she can always successfully insist 
upon the performance of all her ceremonies, the most important 
of which, in this connection, is the confirmation, in Icelandic, the 
disappearance of the language as a living tongue will be syn- 
chronous with the decay of the church itself as an active factor 
m the life of the people. But if English ever becomes the. 
language spoken from the pulpit or recited from the catechism, 
Icelandic will find a place in the catacomb of dead tongues. 

It may be asserted with the utmost confidence that should 
Icelandic be forgotten it would be a great loss to the people. 
Aside from the general advantage of knowing more than one 
language, the literature of Iceland ranks with the best of classical 
times. The poetry, mythology, history and laws of Scandinavia 
were written and preserved by Icelanders about the thirteenth or 
fourteenth century. Old Norse literature is rapidly becoming 
an object of deep interest to students and scholars. Scholars 
like Professor Carpenter, of Columbia University, and R. B. 
Anderson, of Wisconsin, poets like Gray, Morris, Bayard Taylor 
and Longfellow have found in this rugged lore of the North, 
pleasure and inspiration. During the long winter nights in 
Iceland this literature is read by every fireside. The result is 


that every Icelander upon reaching his majority is familiar with 
the Sagas and history of the times when his island was a flour- 
ishing republic. The time is already approaching in Europe and 
America when a general education is regarded incomplete until 
one has imbibed from this Mimir of Northern culture. 

One of the inducements to emigration from Iceland was the 
public school system of this country. The Icelanders in the valley 
have fully availed themselves of its opportunities. Of the higher 
education the same is true. Of the students from Pembina county 
who attended the University of North Dakota in 1906, twenty- 
eight per cent were Icelanders, while not more than thirteen per 
cent of the population of the county are of Icelandic extraction. 
Of the public school teachers of this county in 1906, nineteen 
per cent were of this nationality. 

In politics the Icelandic vote in Pembina county has changed 
from democratic by a large majority in 1892, to overwhelmingly 
republican in 1906. (State Historical Society, Vol. I, p. 125.) 
The people take an active interest in public affairs. Eight dif- 
ferent Icelanders have sat in either branch of the state legisla- 
ture and four were elected to fill county offices in 1906 one 
commissioner, treasurer, clerk of court and state's attorney. 
The state's attorney of Lyon county, Minnesota, is an Icelander. 
The same is true of the state 's attorney of Cavalier county, North 
Dakota. In Winnipeg, where several thousand Icelanders live, 
they have sat in the city council and two are now members of 
the provincial parliament. The plea that a candidate for a public 
office is a countryman of theirs avails but little. Their partisan- 
ship is generally as uncompromising as that of the typical 
American politician. 

No spirit of clannishness or isolation is discernible in the 
attitude of Icelanders toward public affairs. They have formed 
no associations, which, whatever their ostensible object, must 
from their very nature, tend to segregate and individualize the 
interests of their nationality. The general idea seems to pre- 
dominate that first and last they are American citizens. They 
have been loyal and law abiding in the past and whatever crises 
our country may come to in the future they will not prove 


recreant to the duties owing to the flag. While all respectable 
Icelanders take an honest pride in the island of their birth and 
where their ancestors peacefully repose, they do not forget that 
they owe primary obligations to their adopted country which 
they neither attempt nor desire to evade. 


J. R. Cole. 

Their Origin Different Tribes and What Different Writers Say 

About Them. 

Philologists are coming to the conclusion that North American 
Indians belonged originally to the great Aryan family of Europe 
and Asia, and books at this time are being published in advocacy 
of this claim. James Freeman Clarke, in his work on the "Ten 
Great Religions of the World," gives the Indian word "tak," 
meaning hatchet, which is derived from "takshami," Sanskrit; 
"tasha" in Zend; "tash," Persia; "tuagh" in old Irish. In 
like manner many words have been found allying the Indian 
tongue with the Latin, Greek, German, Scandinavian, Celt, Hindu 
and Persian, so that there seems to be some reason for maintain- 
ing a brotherhood of the red man with the Indo-European family, 
if relations by blood can be maintained on linguistic grounds. 
T. S. Denison, of Chicago, persists in this claim and is about 
to issue a book from the University press, giving several thousand 
words from the Indian language to support this argument. 

In itself philology is weak, however, when attempting to 
prove a blood relationship. It may establish the fact that the 
Indians originally occupied lands within Aryan territory, and 
that they all spoke a common language once, but that does not 
prove that they had a common origin. The English are German 
by descent, but are French, philologically speaking. 

As long as monogenists of the Max Muller, Dr. Taylor, Baron 



Bunsen and Professor Sayce class differ among themselves as to 
the locality of the Aryan cradle bed, similarity of language will 
do as little for the Indian as for the Roman, Greek, German or 
Celt in that particular. But as a scientist, Muller says : 

"We can not derive the Malay from the negro, nor the negro 
from the Malay. We can only conceive how this can be." He 
also says: "We can not derive the Hebrew from the Sanskrit 
nor the Sanskrit from the Hebrew," and he could have said 
also : ' ' We can not derive the Indian from the Hebrew, nor the 
Hebrew from the Indian." 

"The skull is the least variable characteristic of race," says 
Broca, the father of the science of crainoscopy, and when we 
remember that the racial characteristics of the Indian is as stub- 
bornly persistent in them as in that of any other type of the 
human kind, we may infer that once an Indian always an Indian, 
is as true as the truism, once a Jew always a Jew. 

That types are persistent is no more a scientific fact than a 
biblical one, and that is in accordance with that inexorable law of 
"kind after kind." Anthropologists have proven from the long 
headed skulls taken from the long barrows of England or from 
the row graves of Germany and other prehistoric burial places, 
deposited there in Palaeolithic ages; and broad-headed skulls 
from other graves in Neolithic times, that skulls, in spite of the 
laws of differentiation, do not change. 

Once doliochocephalic or orthognathous or brachycephalic or 
prognathous, always so. 

The creator of all mankind who set the bounds of the heathen 
and made him with a facial angle and a cephalic index suitable 
only for his particular race, designed it that way. That is the 
way it has been from the beginning. It was of a "kind after a 
kind" with the red man the same as with the white man. The 
Indian with his reddish copper-colored skin, long, coarse, lank, 
black hair, never crisping like that of the negro, nor curling 
like that of the whites, non-Hebraic nose and eyes, arched cheek 
bones, extraordinary insensibility to bodily pain, and with facul- 
ties of sight, hearing and smell remarkably acute, comes under a 
class as a nation of people with a type peculiar only to his own 
race. This we know lays claims to a plurality of origin for the 



human family, but that too we claim is biblical as well as 

The religious history of the Dakotas, like that of Zoroaster, 
runs back into Palaeolithic times. Oanktayhee was the Jupiter 
Maximus among all the gods of the Indians. Out of reverence 
for this object of worship and adoration the Dakotas preserved 
the bones of the mastodon in the medicine bag with the greatest 
care. But the mastodon lived in pre-glacial times only. In 
America its bones have been found at Fort Ancient, Ohio, asso- 
ciated with the skeletons of the Mound Builders, the ancestors 
of the red men. It would be about as difficult to derive an Indian 
of the Pleistocene age from a Jew of the Palestine era, at the 
time Adam and Eve delved in the Garden of Eden, as it would 
be to get a blackbird that flew around Noah's ark out of a goose 
egg laid yesterday. 

Space will not permit us, but proof can be given that the 
monogonist has translated the Genesis account of man to make 
Adam the husband of Eve, the parent head of the human race, 
but in doing so he has made Moses say many things not true to 
the original Hebrew record of that account. Believing, therefore, 
that the Indian had his own cradle-bed the same as the Jews 
had, we are of the opinion he is indigenous to North America, 
if not anthoctonous to that soil the same as the Hebrew is to 
Palestine or the negro is to sunny Africa. 

In this sketch we are concerned with the history of the 
Sioux, Dakota and the Cheyenne tribes only. 

Rev. Edward Duffield Neill in his history of Minnesota says : 
"The Dacotahs, like all ignorant and barbarous people, have but 
little reflections beyond that necessary to gratify the pleasure 
of revenges and of the appetite. It would be strange to find 
them heroes ; while there are exceptions, their general character- 
istics are indolence, impurity and indifference to the future." 
Clark says : "In mental, moral and physical qualities I consider 
the Sioux a little lower but still nearly equal to the Cheyennes, 
and the Teton are the superior branch of the family." 

The Sioux exercised lordship over all the neighboring tribes 
with the exception of the Ojibwa, who were able to drive them 
westward from the headwaters of the Mississippi and the Sioux 


in turn drove the Cheyennes away, who were at one time a 
powerful nation of the Northwest and who dwelt on a branch of 
the Red river. They were at deadly enmity with the Sioux, but 
being less powerful than their adversary, were driven across the 
Missouri and being still pursued by the Sioux, took refuge finally 
in the Black Hills near the upper waters of the Cheyenne river. 

The Cheyenne Indians when first known to the whites lived 
on the Cheyenne river, a branch of the Red River of the North. 
They are sometimes termed Dog-eaters from their fondness for 
the flesh of that animal and sometimes known as "Cut Wrists" 
from that form of mutilation which they practice on their dead 
enemies. On account of wars with the Sioux they moved south 
and encamped for a few years on the Little Cheyenne, then 
later on the Big Cheyenne near the Black Hills. While in the 
Black Hills they were at war against the Sioux, the Mandans, 
and sometimes against the Aricarees. They formed an alliance 
finally with the Arapahoes, old residents of the North Platte 

A writer says : ' ' Other races of Indians once people the 
territory now embraced within the state of North Dakota. 
Among these were the once powerful and numerous people called 
the Mandan, whose place of residence was west of the Missouri, 
and about whom so many interesting tales are told by George 
Catlin, the artist explorer, who spent years in their villages. 
These singular people, of whom there is scarcely a trace left, were 
of a different race, evidently, from those who surrounded them. 
They were of a much lighter color and more agreeable features 
than Sioux, Pawnee or Omaha, and had a rude civilization. In 
the making of pottery, the weaving of blankets and other 
mechanical employments they developed considerable skill. Many 
of their singular customs were peculiar to them, and conjecture 
has run rife in trying to account for their being. Many theories 
have been advanced, as is usual in all these cases, some believing 
them to be a degenerate remnant of the prehistoric races of this 
continent; others that they are the descendants of some white 
people wrecked on either coast and who have drifted inland. 
One of the accounts of this head states that they are descendants 
of the female captives of a former race, who were spared from 


the wholesale massacre meted out to the rest of their people. The 
Indians of the plains say that the Mandans were originally 
white, the women having long, fair hair, and the men long, blonde 
whiskers. They were numerous and possessed all the land, having 
cities, towns and villages. They had farms and herds of buffalo 
or bison. The story is that they were all cut off by the Abenaznis, 
the forefathers or forerunners of the Indians. Only a few women 
out of the race were spared to become the wives of their captors. 
But when their children were grown they livd with them apart, 
kept aloof, and thus grew up a separate race. If this account is 
reported correctly, and probably it is, may not the white people 
of this Indian legend have some connection with the wanderings 
of that semi-civilized race, the Aztecs, who finally settled in 
Mexico about the year 1200? They, too, were of a higher color 
than the other Indians and had considerable civilization." 

E. R. Steinbrueck, Mandan, North Dakota, thinks that the 
Mandans came originally from Ireland. He cites some authorities 
in support of that argument, which, if proven, only goes to show 
that this race of the red man came from the Arctic regions, 
having been driven out by the ice age to more delectable climes 
farther south. At the beginning of the glacial era the fauna 
and the flora occupied regions around the north pole, but when 
frozen out a migration southward was made. It is not improb- 
able that the Mandan at that time occupied some extended area 
within the boundary of the Indo-European country, and after- 
wards migrated to American soil. 

A very good account of the Dacotah Indians is given in the 
Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota. " These 
savages are of an entirely different group from those found 
throughout New England and along the banks of the Mohawk 
and Susquehanna. Although they have many customs in common 
with the tribes that once dwelt to the east of them, yet their 
language and many peculiarities mark them as belonging to a 
distant race. . When they were first noticed by the European 
adventurers, large numbers were found about the head of Lake 
Superior and on throughout the lake region of what is now 
Minnesota and Manitoba. The name by which they call them- 
selves, Dacotah, signifies allied or leagued. The name Sioux, 


often written Scioux or Soos, by which they are better known, 
was given them by early travelers in that country. For cen- 
turies there had raged a relentless war between the Dacotah and 
the Ojibiways, or Chippewas, and these latter always designated 
their opponents by the name of Nadowessioux or Nadowaysioux, 
signifying enemies. The historian Charlevoix, who visited the 
Northwest in 1721, in his 'Annals of New France,' says: 'The 
name of our own making, or rather it is the last two syllables of 
the name Nadowessioux, as many nations call them.' There has 
been suggested by a local writer, who had excellent opportu- 
nities to learn of such matters, that the name Dacotah, instead 
of meaning allied, has an entirely different derivation, and one 
so plausible that its insertion here may not be out of place. It 
is as follows : The Sioux Indian, like so many of his red brethren, 
has for centuries been in contact with the missionaries, many of 
whom were French priests, and has been associated with the 
Canadian voyageurs and has learned to like and speak the French 
language, and they take pride in speaking the 'priest language,' 
as they call it. When the Anglo-Saxon first came among these 
people, on his asking what tribe did he, the Indian belong to, and 
where did he live, the Dacotah, probably with wide-sweeping 
gesture so common to the race, answered shortly, Sioux du Coteau, 
meaning Sioux of the Hills. His total ignorance of the French 
tongue, and his having no idea of its use by a savage, led the 
uneducated American or Englishman to conclude that it was an 
Indian name, and it was accordingly handed down in its present 
form of Dacotah. 

"The Dacotah was an allied race, however, they often giving 
themselves the name of Ocetisakowin, or the Seven Council Fires. 
The principal members of this league were seven tribes or sub- 
divisions, many of whom had their home in what is now Minne- 
sota in an early day, but who, driven back by the advancing 
whites, took up their residence in Dakota. Some of them, how- 
ever, were found dwellers on the broad plains of the Dakotas, 
and had been for a long time previous to the advent of the white 

"The principal sub-nations, or tribes, who made up the league, 


and who held annual councils for the general good, were as 
follows : 

"The M 'dewakantonwans, or those who live in the village 
of the Spirit Lake, evidently Mille Lac, in Minnesota, where they 
formerly had their residence. 

"The Wahpekutewans, or villages of the leaf shooters, a name 
of uncertain derivation, but probably from the shape of their 
stone arrow heads, which were broader and more leaf-like in 
shape than the others. 

"The Wahpetonwans, or villages in the leaves of the woods, 
pointing to their abode being in the forests of Minnesota about 
the Little Rapids of the Minnesota river. From there they were 
removed finally to the reservation- about Big Stone lake. 

"The Sissitonwans, meaning villages of the marsh, a people 
who lived at one time on the west bank of the Mississippi river. 
All these four sub-tribes went, also, by the general name of 
Isanyati or Isantees. This name is identical with the Issati of 
Hennepin. The name grew out of the fact that they once lived 
on or near Isantandi or Knife lake, one of the Mille Lacs. It is 
asserted that the lake drew its name from the stone on its banks, 
which the primitive Indians sought to make into knives (isan). 

"The other tribes in the league were the Minnekanye 
Wogopuwans, or the villages of those that plant by the water. 
The Ihankwannas, the band of the end village, a people whose 
name, corrupted by the white people into Yanktonnias or 
Yanktons, gave its title to the city which was the capital of the 
territory for many years, Yankton. This tribe dwelt . in the 
country between the Red river and the Missouri, and were its 
sole masters for some time. It was subdivided into several sub- 
tribes: Hunkpatidans ; Pabaksa, or Cut Heads; Wazikutes, or 
Pine Shooters, and Kiyuksa, those who divide or break the law. 
According to the Indian traditions, the Hohays, or Assinboine 
of the country just north of Dakota, were a part of this branch. 

"Tetonwans, who were the undisputed masters of the land 
west of the Missouri river, to the Rocky mountains. These, also, 
were closely allied with the Cheyennes and Arickarees, with 
whom they formed many marriage alliances. Among the divisions 
of this powerful branch of the Dacotah nations were the Sicauu 


or Burnt Thighs, called usually the Brule Sioux, after Father 
Brule, a French priest; Itazipeho, or Sans Arc, without bows; 
the Sihasaps, feet that are black; the Oehenonpa, two kettles or 
boilers; Ogallahs, wanderers in the mountains; Minnecoupoux, 
those who plant by the water ; and the Onkpapas, they that dwell 
by themselves. 

"These people were, evidently, banded together at a very 
early day, for, in the history of the mission at La Pointe, on 
Lake Superior, one of the fathers, in writing of the Dacotahs, 
says: 'For sixty leagues from the extremity of the Upper Lake, 
toward sunset; and, as it were, in the center of the western 
nations, they have all united their force by a general league.' 

''Polygamy is common among them. They are very jealous, 
and sometimes fight in duel for their wives. They manage the 
bow admirably and have been seen several times to kill ducks 
on the wing. They make their lodges of a number of buffalo 
skins, interlaced and sewed, and carry them wherever they go. 
They are all great smokers." 

From a work called "Dakota Dictionary," published by the 
United States government in 1853, under the auspices of the 
Smithsonian Institute, a book written by Rev. S. A. Riggs, a 
worthy man who labored for years as a missionary among the 
Sioux, has been gathered a few facts. Mr. Riggs says, in speaking 
of the Dacotah tongue: 

"In the language as spoken by the different bands of those 
properly denominated Dakotas, some differences exist. The inter- 
course between the Indewakantonwans of the Mississippi and 
lower Minnesota, and the Wahpetonwans, Wahpekutes and a 
part of the Sissitonwans family has been so constant that but 
slight variations are discoverable in their manner of speaking. 
In some instances where the Wahpetonwans use d, some of the 
Indewakantonwans so modify the sound that it becomes t, and 
where the former use h, the latter sometimes employ n. As a 
matter of course, some few words have currency in one band 
which are not used, perhaps not generally known, to the others ; 
but none of the dialectical variations are of such a kind as to 
impede the free intercourse of thought. 

"The Sissitonwans of Lake Traverse and the prairie present 


more differences in their speech. One of the most marked of 
these is their use of na for dan, the diminutive termination. 
As there is less frequent intercourse between them and the 
Isanties, their provincialisms are more numerous; and from 
their connections with the Ihanktonwans of the prairie they have 
adopted some of their forms of speech. 

"The chief peculiarity of the Ihanktonwan dialect, as com- 
pared with that of the Dakotas of the Minnesota valley, is the 
almost universal substitution of k for h. The Tetonwan dialect 
exhibits more striking differences. In it the g, hard, is used for 
the h of the Isanties and k of the Ihanktonwans, and rejecting 
d altogether, they use 1 in its stead. 

"By the bands of Dakotas east of the James river, hard g 
is not heard except as a final in some syllables where contraction 
has taken place, and 1 does not occur. Thus, to illustrate the 
foregoing, Canpahinihona, a cart or wagon, of the Wahpetonwans, 
becomes cunpunminera in the mouth of an Indewakautonwan, 
canpakmekma in that of an Ihanktonwan, and campazmigma 
with a Tetonwan. Hda, to go home, of the Isanties, is kda in the 
Ihanktonwan dialect and gla in the Tetonwan." 

The Sioux counts years by winters, and computes distance 
by the number of sleeps or nights passed upon a journey. Their 
months are computed by moons, and bear the following names : 
Witeri, January, the hard moon ; Wicatowi, February, the raccoon 
moon ; Istawicayazanwi, March, the sore eye moon ; Magaokadiwi, 
April, moon when geese lay eggs, sometimes called Wokadiwi, 
and also Watopapiwi, or the moon when the streams are naviga- 
ble; Wojupiwi, May, planting moon; Wajustecasawi, June, the 
moon when strawberries are red; Canpasapawi and Wasunpawi, 
July, moon when choke cherries are ripe and moon when geese 
shed their feathers; Wasutonwi, August, harvest moon; 
Psinhnaketuwi, September, the moon when rice is laid up to dry; 
Wiwajupi, October, drying rice moon ; Takiyurawi, November, 
deer rutting month; and Tahecapsunwi, December, the moon 
when the deer sheds his horns. 

The legends of the Dakotahs are numerous. While some 
are puerile, a few are beautiful. One of them tells of Eagle Eye, 
the son of a great war prophet, who lived more than a hundred 


years ago, and who was distinguished for bravery. Fleet, ath- 
letic, symmetrical, a bitter foe and a warm friend, he was a 
model Dakotah. In the ardor of his youth his affections were 
given to one who was, also, attractive, whose name was Scarlet 
Dove. A few moons after she had become an inmate of his 
lodge, they descended the Mississippi with a hunting party and 
proceeded east of Lake Pepin. One day while Eagle Eye lay 
hidden behind some shrubbery, waiting for a deer, a comrade's 
arrow pierced the leafy covert and struck him to the heart. With 
only time to lisp the loved name, Scarlet Dove, he expired. 

For a few days the widow mourned and gashed her flesh, as 
was the custom upon such occasions, then, with the silence of 
woe, wrapped her beloved in skins and placed him on a tem- 
porary scaffold. The Sioux do not bury their dead, but place 
them on a scaffold above the earth or in the tree tops. Under- 
neath the resting place of Eagle Eye sat Scarlet Dove until the 
party was ready to return to their own place. Then, taking down 
all that was left of the husband of her heart, she patiently carried 
it back to their home. On her shoulders she carried her burden, 
and each night when the party camped she built a temporary 
resting place above the earth for his beloved remains. When 
she reached the Minnesota river, a hundred miles from where he 
lost his life, the patient woman rested. Going into the forest, 
she brought poles forked and poles straight, and forthwith she 
built a permanent burial scaffold on a beautiful hill, opposite 
Fort Snelling. Having placed the body upon this elevation, 
according to the customs of her race, with the strap with which 
she had carried her precious burden hanged herself to the 
scaffold and died. 

Another from the same source is one told by the Indians of 
the Missouri: 

"The Great Spirit, at an ancient period, here called the 
Indian nations together, and, standing on the precipice of the 
red pipe-stone rocks, broke from its wall a piece, and made a 
huge pipe by turning it in his hand, which he smoked over them 
to the north, the south, the east and the west, and told them 
that this stone was red that it was their flesh that they must 
use it for their pipes of peace that it belonged to them all, and 


that the war-club must not be raised on its ground. At the 
last whiff of his pipe his head went into a great cloud, and the 
whole surface of the rock for several miles was heated and 
glazed; two great ovens were opened beneath, and two women 
(guardian spirits of the place) entered them in a blaze of fire, 
and they are heard there yet (Tso-me-cos-too and Tso-me-cos-to- 
wan-dee), answering to the invocations of the high priests, who 
consult them when they visit the sacred place." 

Ali^e Nelson Page visited Fort Totten, North Dakota, recently 
and gathered much valuable information about the Indians which 
was published in the Herald June 13, 1908. Her data was ob- 
tained largely from Father Jerome, in charge of St. Michael's 
Indian Mission at Fort Totten, and from Indians in the vicinity 
of that fort. The writer's vivid description of Indian life when 
speaking of the Dakotas carries with the sketch a note like that 
of a death knell sounding the existence of the dusky race for 
the last time. The sketch is historical and, including that of 
Chief Little Fish, the last great warrior of a Sioux nation, is 
inserted in this place. The writer says: 

The rapidity with which this band of Indians is dying out is 
pathetic and the mortality on all of the western reservations is 
great, according to the Indian agents. On the Fort Totten reser- 
vation the role of 1892 for the distribution of lands counted 1,145 
men, women and children. The last role for the distribution 
of this $788,000 judgment against the government was 900, and 
it must be remembered this includes all who are living of the 
enrollment of 1892 as well as those born since. 

The mortality is greater among the young than among the 
older ones, and wherein they have nearly as many children as 
they used to there is some race suicide among them with the 
development of higher civilization, especially in the last five years. 
The children that are born are not properly cared for. The 
Indian mothers have learned it is not necessary to nurse their' 
babies, that they can be fed from a bottle as well as the old way. 
Of course they have no idea of sterilization of either milk or 
bottle and if they had would be too lazy to use it. The easiest 
way to them is a bottle that holds the most and a long rubber 
tube. From this the papoose is fed anything from diseased milk 


to thick soup, which of course is murder to the delicate little 
stomachs and dysentery carries them off quickly. 

Dead Are Remembered. 

There is a pretty little burying ground near the Old Mission 
011 the reservation that is rapidly filling up. Every grave is 
carefully marked, some with very handsome marble monuments 
and others with a simple cross of white wood or stone. If the 
relatives of a dead Indian have a dollar it will go for a monument 
or mark of some kind though they starve for days after. Or if 
they have no money and the dealer in tombstones will trust them 
one is bought far beyond their means. 

The restricted way in which the Indian lives is responsible for 
the dying out of the race. The teaching the white man has 
thought for their own good is proving their undoing physically 
and morally in many ways. As good old Chief Little Fish says : 
"My young people learn quicker the bad ways of the white man 
than his good." 

Reasons for Mortality. 

Instead of having the great plains that abounded with buffalo 
and wild game of all kinds to roam over and a sheltered nook in 
the forest to erect their tepees during the winter they are 
restricted to a few acres of land on which the game has long 
since ceased to exist. The manner in which they live in their 
ignorance would kill off the white man just as readily. They 
must live on their own land and often their little cabins are 
erected on the open prairie without shelter of any description. 
Imagine human beings living, a family maybe of from four to ten 
or twelve, in two rooms and these with every crack and crevice 
practically hermetically sealed against the cold blast. 

The sanitary conditions are awful. When they do go outside 
cold is caught easily, pneumonia sets in and then the terrible 
white plague which is so prevalent among them, gets an easy 
hold on their constitutions. The mortality is the greatest from 
this disease. A rumor has been current for a number of years 
that syphilis was prevalent among them and the mortality was 


as much or more from this than any other cause. This is denied 
by the reservation doctor. He says there is little of it among 
them. Tuberculosis is their curse and their manner of living an 
aggravation of the disease. 

Failure as Farmers. 

A few years ago it was thought the Cut Head Sioux would 
make good farmers and tillers of the soil and while they were 
under the strict surveillance of the government they were so, 
and quite self-supporting. Major McLaughlin, Indian agent from 
Washington, D. C., who used to be Indian agent at the Fort 
Totten reservation, is quoted as saying on his last visit there, 
they were not as good farmers as they were ten years ago. Then 
they were under the direct control of the Indian agent and there 
were what they called "Boss Farmers" going constantly among 
them, teaching them to farm with the uses of modern machinery 
which the government provided them with, and although they 
had to be coaxed along like children, they made reasonable prog- 
ress as agriculturists, but now are retrogressing. Since the 
settlement with the government in 1892, when the last land allot- 
ment was made, the Cut Head Sioux were made citizens with 
the right of ballot. Since that time they have been left more to 
their own devices and the result has been disastrous. 

Proverbially lazy, improvident as to future, one wonders how 
they exist. Some of them have a small annuity from the govern- 
ment, but it is never in their hands longer than it takes to get 
from the post to the traders, and then it is never spent in laying 
away a stock of any kind of provision against a future need. 
There will undoubtedly be hardship among them this winter for 
what little grains were put in were burned out with the drouth. 
A few of them have good gardens and can put away a stock of 
vegetables for the winter, and for a time these will be the popular 
Indians on the reservation among their kin. Their cabins will be 
the gathering place for poorer relatives and neighbors. This 
hospitality is always dispensed as long as there is anything to 
eat. During the coldest weather a number of families will coop 
themselves up in one little cabin for weeks at a time. 


Felt Drouth Coming. 

The most trivial reason is an excuse for not putting in their 
land. A bit of broken machinery, a lamed horse, an ailing rela- 
tive, will stop all farming operations. One astute old Indian 
when questioned about his crops this year said he did not put any 
in because he knew there was going to be a drouth, a bit of 
wisdom many a white man would like to possess. 

There is a splendid Indian industrial school at Fort Totten. 
When the old fort was abandoned by the troops eighteen years 
ago it was turned over to the Indians by the government for this 
purpose. Each year the school has turned out a number of grad- 
uates and where they have not had to return to their homes, and 
have been trained instead out in the world, they have made good 
citizens and are quite self-supporting. 

C. M. Zeibach, for sixteen years in the Indian service with 
thorough knowledge of their characteristics and requirements, 
makes a splendid superintendent and is agent on the reservation 
as well. The original school from which the Industrial school 
grew was the Old Mission, established by the Catholics in 1863. 
This burned and a newer, larger mission took its place. After- 
ward another even larger mission was built where the children 
have been taught by the Grey Nuns and Father Jerome, the 
priest in charge. 

When the industrial school proper was established at the post 
the government retained control of the mission and consolidated 
the schools, leaving the Grey Nuns and Father Jerome still in 
charge of the mission. To the mission is sent the Sioux Indian 
children, most of whom are full blooded, and to the post are sent 
the Chippewa children, most of whom are half breeds from the 
Turtle mountain reservation. After a trial it was found necessary 
to separate them in this way in order to preserve peace among 
them, for the remains of the old feuds between the Chippewa and 
the Sioux, who were always deadly enemies, would crop out. 

Last year there were enrolled 140 boys and 145 girls of ages 
ranging anywhere from five to twenty. They are not carried in 
their studies beyond the eighth grade, but are all taught useful 



The boys are taught the harness-making, tailoring, carpen- 
tering, farming and engineering trades, and the girls dressmaking, 
domestic science, laundry, baking, etc. A corps of forty-five 
teachers, some of them of Indian descent, educated either at Car- 
lisle or Haskell, and a few cultured white men and women 
comprise the faculty. 

Blood Always Tells. 

The children are most of them musical and pick up the refine- 
ments of life quickly, but strange to say they drop them as 
quickly when they go back to their homes, at least the greater 
number of them do. There are some exceptions but they are few 
and far between. If allowed they will absorb a great deal of 
higher education with evidently a good understanding, but with 
no idea of putting it to any practical purpose. One superin- 
tendent is quoted as saying that this had been one trouble with 
the teaching of an Indian, too much time had been given to giving 
him a champagne education with only a beer salary to maintain 
it with, and the immediate result when the Indian gets once more 
among his own and sees the impossibility of remedying things 
there he loses hope, and the result is disastrous. 

This superintendent's idea was to teach the Indian a 'simple 
trade and above all to work. Some of the graduates turned out 
in recent years, especially of the half or quarter breeds, have 
gone farther with their educations, entered some of the eastern 
universities and in a number of instances turned out good pro- 
fessional men and women. They are employed on the different 
reservations and at some of the posts and towns adjacent to 
reservations have set up in business for themselves. In such 
instances as this they have turned out well but where they must 
go from the industrial school back to their homes on the 
reservation not much has been accomplished. 

The children are allowed two months at home each summer, 
when they have homes, and if they have not they are kept at the 
school. It generally takes a week to get them straightened out 
when they come back to the school in the fall. Their clothes will 
be ragged and dirty and they are oftentimes covered with vermin, 
making much work for the matrons and teachers. 


But when once in line and in working order again they are 
easily managed and some of the teachers with experience teaching 
the white children claim they are more tractable and easily man- 
aged than the white, and fully as easily taught. Some of their 
work is beautiful, especially of the girls. Their sewing is a work 
of art and the boys do good work, too. They take more to some 
trades than others. Harnessmaking appeals to them and Super- 
intendent Zeibach is in possession of a magnificent set of harness 
made by one of the boys at the industrial school that in point of 
workmanship is perfect. He would not take a considerable sum 
for it. 

The education of the Indian is a problem, and has been for 
many years to the government, but if the mortality is as great 
on other reservations as at Fort Totten, it is a problem seemingly 
of not many years' duration. 

Story of Little Fish. 

The old saying: "There is no good Indian but a dead one," 
does not apply in all cases, at least not in that of Chief Little Fish 
of the Cut Head Sioux at the Fort Totten Indian reservation in 
North Dakota, according to all reports of him from both his own 
people and the whites. 

Little Fish or ' ' Tiawashti, " meaning in English, Pretty Lodge, 
has passed the allotted three score years and ten of man and will 
shortly celebrate his eighty-fourth birthday. He is greatly 
beloved by his own people and respected by the whites and it is 
w r ith sadness they speak of the time when he will be no more 
among them. With his demise will go a picturesque old figure 
among the Indians and the last of the chiefs of the Cut Head 
Sioux of the Dakotas, since the death of the great Chief Wanita, 
who may be in point of valor outrivaled Little Fish, but never 
in natural goodness. Old Wanita passed away about ten years 
ago on the Fort Totten reservation and a handsome monument 
in the Indian burying ground there stands as a memorial to 

Not Great Warrior. 

Some magazine and newspaper writers of late years have 
written of Little Fish and described him as an hereditary chief 


of the Sioux and told great tales of fights and skirmishes, always 
describing him in these as a great warrior, which according to 
Little Fish himself and those among whom he has lived for fifty 
years and over, is not true. In fact he has always been a very 
peaceful Indian and as to his antecedents, he is very vague on 
this point himself. 

As a sketch produced here of him would indicate, he is of 
mixed blood and according to an old Indian trader who has 
known him for fifty years, he must b*e a mixture of Sisseton 
Sioux and French. There is lacking in his features the high cheek 
bone, the full broad, coarse mouth, and the raven straight hair 
of the full blood Sioux. Instead, he has the more refined features 
of the French, but the swarthy skin of the Indian. His hair is 
snow white and shows a little inclination to ripple, which is very 
unlike the Indian. This all with some marked characteristics 
of the Sissetons, according to traders who have studied them and 
lived among them for years, would indicate a mixed blood. 

How He Became Chief. 

According to old members of the tribe and his own story, 
when a mere boy he wandered from some part of the Canadian 
country into Minnesota, where he met a band of the Cut Head 
Sioux who accepted him as their own. He could tell but little of 
whom his people were. Years afterward events transpired that 
made these Indians accept him as their chief. In the early sixties 
the colonel in command of Fort Totten found Little Fish with a 
band of 300 of his people camped near the Missouri River. There 
was a famine among them, the winter had been a terrible one 
and they were starving and freezing to death. When the com- 
mander and his soldiers approached, with a thought to locate 
some Indians who had been committing depredations among the 
white settlers, it was here Little Fish's powers of oratory were 
discovered. His appeal and statement of the condition of his 
people was strong and eloquent. The Indians' seeming depend- 
ence upon him, his wisdom and his influence, made the com- 
mander acknowledge him as chief. From this on, this particular 
band of Indians called him chief and the whole tribe afterward 
accepted him as such, as did the government. 


Respected at Washington. 

When some of the treaties of the late sixties and the early 
seventies were made with the Cut Head Sioux and the govern- 
ment, the name of Little Fish appeared on them formally as 
chief of this tribe. Far from being a warrior of note, he has 
always stood for peace, both among the different tribes and the 
whites and he says he has always tried to live according to the 
precepts of the great white chiefs in Washington and to govern 
his people accordingly. At different times with members of his 
tribe he has visited Washington and the government officials have 
always found him tractable and reasonable in his demands for his 

There are people who claim Little Fish took part in the 
terrible massacre of '62 near Alexandria, Minnesota, but this 
Little Fish strenuously denies, and his life among the Indians 
and the whites would indicate the truthfulness of what he says, 
that he has always been a peaceful Indian and tried to lead his 
people in the path of rectitude. He says the nearest he came to 
being in the Indian uprising, and this is vouched for by an old 
Indian trader, was that of the winter of '62. He, with a small 
band of hunters with their wives and children, went west and 
camped near old Fort Ransom. Some of the more hardy hunters 
leaving the women and children behind, went on further into 
Montana looking for big game. After a week's absence they 
started back and were met half way by some of those they had 
left behind hastening to notify them of the uprising and that 
their people were being rapidly cut down by the soldiers and 
white settlers. The whole band started back toward Minnesota 
and met another band of Indians coming west who had been 
whipped and vanquished. 

Little Fish Advises Peace. 

After due council Little Fish advised them to quietly seek 
their own camping grounds, obey the mandate of the whites, 
accept their defeat and make the best of such lands and rations 
as the government would give them. It was greatly the influence 


of Little Fish when he went back among them that they settled 
down as quietly and peacefully as they did. 

Has One Child, a Son. 

For over fifty years he has lived on the Fort Totten reserva- 
tion and his life there has surely been indicative of a peaceful 
disposition. He is known far and wide as a good Indian, a man 
of his word both to white and red men, and a Christian. He is a 
devout Catholic. This faith he embraced years ago and according 
to the priest who has been in charge of the mission at the reserva- 
tion for over thirty years has been one of his best parishioners, 
and a faithful attendant at services. He has been married twice 
and has had quite a family of children, of whom but one son 
survives. A number of grandchildren are living about the reser- 
vation and with an older one of these he makes his home. They 
have a cozy little farm home about six miles out from the fort 
and near the old mission, where they farm and raise enough 
grains for their simple uses and to feed a few head of good stock. 
A small annuity comes from the government every quarter, but 
even if this were not forthcoming Little Fish would be well 
cared for by his own or the white men about who are really fond 
of the old Indian. 

Since with the members of his tribe he has been made a citizen 
of the United States with the last settlement of the government 
in the way of land allotments, the old chief has turned to be quite 
a politician and is proud of the fact he can cast his ballot as the 
white man. 

How the Chief Votes. 

When he comes to vote it is with great pomp and ceremony. 
He must have his interpreter tell him, over and over again, of 
the different qualities of the different candidates for office. He 
then casts his ballot as he chooses, always giving a good reason 
why he voted and why his man should be elected, showing that 
after all he has carefully weighed the matter in his own mind. 
Most Indians are easily led when it comes to politics and it is 
said the last man to approach them with a bribe is the one who 
gets their vote, but not so with Little Fish. Those who have tried 


say his vote cannot be bought. Since the beginning of the 
Chautauqua sixteen years ago, one or two days have always been 
designated Indian days. Led by Little Fish, all the Indians come 
over from the reservation for the event. 

Famed for His Oratory. 

A picturesque feature of one day has always been a speech 
in the great auditorium by the old chief. He is famed for his 
oratory and thousands will gather to hear him. He always speaks 
words of wisdom, and recites through an interpreter interesting 
and instructive reminiscences of the happy hunting days when 
great herds of buffalo and antelope roamed the plains of the 
Dakotas. But, this year this was one of the features most missed 
at the Chautauqua assembly. Little Fish came over with his 
people but had to decline to give his annual speech on account of 
his feebleness. It was a matter of great regret to the visitors and 
a pathetic demonstration to his people, who sadden when they 
speak of the time that he will be among them no more, that his 
days are numbered and that shortly he will be called to join the 
good Indians who have gone before him to the happy hunting 

At the Chautauqua this summer when the old chief posed for 
his picture, a silver medal was brought from around his neck, that 
it might show more in the picture. Many questions were asked 
about this medal, but only elicited the information that it was 
given to some one of his forefathers for valor by King George 
the Third and it bears the portrait of the king on one side and 
that of an Indian chief on the other, with the inscription, accord- 
ing to the interpreter, in the Indian tongue, "For valor, from his 
Majesty King George the Third." To what forefather this was 
presented could not be learned from Little Fish and it was with 
regret the gift could not be traced, for undoubtedly its history 
would recall tales of romance and history and establish without 
doubt Little Fish's antecedents. 

Last of the Chiefs. 

With the passing of this old chief, and the time can not be 
many moons away, will go the last of the chiefs of the Cut Head 


Sioux Indians. While the old man's mind is still alert and keen, 
physically he is failing quite rapidly. And when he is gone there 
will be no more chiefs, for the government recognizes none and 
it is hardly likely the Indians will elect another, although some 
of the tribe feel they may accept a grandson of Little Fish as a 
sort of honorary chief. This is hardly likely and even so his 
influence would be of little moment among them for he has not 
the natural powers of leadership of his good old grandfather. 


Early in the fifties, the United States Government made a 
treaty with the Indians of the Northwest granting rights that 
the agents of the government were not long in getting away from 
them. But as for these red Ishmaelites whose hand was against 
every man and every mqn's hand was against them, they lived 
without tilling the soil, and when on the warpath spared no foe 
in mercy. That was their loftiest ambition, and as they had 
taken up the sword, their fate was to die by the sword, and the 
treachery of government agents was one way by which they came 
to their untimely end. 

The subjugation and almost utter annihilation of the red man 
of the Sioux war and other wars, culminating in the death of 
Custer and his little army of faithful followers, on the 25th of 
June, 1876, furnishes probably the finishing episodes of the last 
two hundred years or more of Indian warfare. That terrible 
uprising of the Dakota Indians in the summer of 1862, and conse- 
quent deaths of seven or eight hundred defenseless settlers in 
Minnesota and the Dakotas, is the last, we hope, of the dark 
spots to be found in the history of the aborigines of our country. 
Like the devastation of a great plague this trouble with the 
Indians was far and wide. It reached from the Iowa line north to 
the international boundary line, and from the central part of 
Minnesota west as far as the white settlers could be found, 
involving all in the Northwest, north of Iowa, and including a 
population at that time exceeding fifty thousand people. 

The causes which led to this outbreak are complicated, but 
one cause, and the principal one, goes back to the treaty 
of Traverse des Sioux, July 23, 1851, between the United States 



and the Sissitonwans or Sissitons and the Wahpetonwans, when 
$275,000 were to be paid their chiefs and the further sum of 
$30,000 was to be expended for the tribes' benefit in Indian 
improvements. By the treaty of Mendota, dated August 5, of the 
same year, the M 'dewakantonwan and the Wahpekutewan Sioux 
were to receive the sum of $200,000, to be paid to their chiefs 
and for an improvement fund of $30,000. These several sums, 
amounting in all to $555,000, these Indians claimed was never 
paid except in some trifling sums expended in improvements on 
the reservation. Thievery was then rife among the Indian agents 
and political employes of the Indian bureau, and no doubt there 
was much that was true in these claims of the savages. The 
Indians grew more and more dissatisfied and freely expressed 
themselves in council and to the agents. In 1867 the Indian 
department at Washington sent out Major Kintzing Prichette, 
a man of large experience and unsullied integrity, to investigate 
the cause of the ill feeling. In his report, made to the department 
the same year, the Major says: "The complaint that runs 
through all their councils points to the imperfect performance 
or non-fulfillment of treaty stipulations. Whether these are well 
or ill founded it is not my premise to discuss. That such a belief 
prevails among them, impairing their confidence and good faith 
in the government, cannot be questioned." 

In one of these councils, Jagmani, a chief, said : "The Indians 
sold their lands at Traverse des Sioux. I say what we are told. 
For fifty years they were to be paid $50,000 each year. We 
were, also, promised $30,000 and that we have not seen." 
Another chief said that by the treaty of Traverse des Sioux 
$275,000 were to be paid to them when they came upon their 
reservation ; they desired to know what had become of it. Every 
white man knows that they have been five years upon their 
reservation, and yet we have heard nothing of it. 

Alexander Ramsey, then governor of the territory of Minne- 
sota, and ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs, was charged 
with having paid over the greater part of the money appropriated 
under the fourth article of the treaty of July 23 and August 5, 
1851, to Hugh Tyler, and Judge Young having been sent out 
by the government to investigate this charge, made this report: 


"Of $275,000 stipulated to be paid by that treaty of July 23, 
1851, the sum of $250,000 was delivered over to Hugh Tyler by 
the governor for distribution among the traders and half-breeds, 
according to an arrangement made by the schedule of the 'Traders' 
Paper' dated at Traverse des Sioux, July 23, 1851. The payment 
of this money to the traders and not to the Indians, and besides 
that $55,000 Hugh Tyler deducted as a brokerage fee, was what 
rankled in the breasts of the savages." 

Major Galbraith, Sioux agent at the time, says, after enumer- 
ating various causes that helped to swell the enmity in the bosom 
of the savages, "that they (the Indians) knew that the govern- 
ment was at war, and seeing the illustrated papers at all the posts 
and trading places, could see that the tide of battle was setting 
against the ' Great Father. ' ' ' The Major further adds : 

"Grievances such as have been related, and numberless others 
akin to them, were spoken of, recited and chanted at their 
councils, dances and feasts, to such an extent that, in their 
excitement, in June, 1862, a secret organization known as the 
'Soldiers' Lodge,' was founded by the young braves of the Lower 
Sioux, with the object, as far as I was able to learn through spies 
and informers, of preventing the traders from going to the pay- 
table, as had been their custom. Since the outbreak I have 
become satisfied that the real object of this lodge was to adopt 
measures to clean out all the white people at the end of the 

One cause of the outbreak had its origin near what was once 
known as Spirit Lake or the lake where spirits dwell on the 
dog plains of northwestern Iowa. This lake, which is the largest 
in, the state of Iowa, was the early home of the M 'dewakantons, 
one of the four groups or bands of the Santees, supposed parent 
stock of the Sioux or Dakota nation of Indians. But being 
driven out from that place by a more powerful tribe of Indians, 
they moved to other homes that they established along the rivers 
of what is now western Minnesota. But nothwithstanding the 
fact that the Santees had ceased to occupy the lands around 
Spirit Lake, they still claimed the right of possession, and this 
right was conceded by the government at Washington in a treaty 
with these Santees held August 5, 1851. That treaty also secured 


them pay not only for the country about Spirit Lake, but for the 
entire valley along the Little Sioux River that meanders from 
that lake for 120 miles before it pours into the Missouri. Inkpa- 
dutah occupied this valley of the Little Sioux River. He was 
chief of a little band of warriors. These Indians found near the 
present town of Cherokee, Minnesota, abundance of elk, deer, and 
water game. Inkpadutah had counciled with his tribe against 
the selling of these lands in the Sioux valley and he determined 
to reoccupy them, and this was the condition of affairs when in 
1855 and 1856 the northwestern part of the state of Iowa was 
being settled by the whites. Sioux City, on the Iowa side of the 
line, at the mouth of Big Sioux River, became the center point of 
trade for hundreds of miles around, and the valley of the Little 
Sioux River became the homes of many of these pioneers. The 
village of Smithland, located near the bluffs of the Missouri, was 
one of the settlements in this valley and about eighteen miles 
from the mouth of the Little Sioux River, where it emptied into 
the Missouri. The homesteaders of this place harvested their 
second crop here in 1856, and it was in the spring of that year 
Inkpadutah and his band crossed over the head of the Des Moines 
and spent the principal part of the summer hunting and fishing 
along that stream. As the autumn days approached flocks of 
geese and ducks furnished the supply for these hunters, but it 
also brought a feeling of intrusive resentment among the whites. 
By the middle of December Inkpadutah and his band had arrived 
at the outskirts of the settlement at Smithland and camped near 
the house of farmer Livermore, about three miles from the village. 
They did not make themselves disagreeable by intruding in any 
way upon the rights of the white settlement, but they were 
good hunters and their success in securing game excited the 
envy of the pale face and this was the cause of their being driven 
from their hunting grounds finally. On St. Valentine's Day the 
more boisterous of the new settlers met and after talking over 
the situation thirty of them assembled in Smithland and held a 
council of war. For one cause and another, based on envy more 
than on fact, they formed a company and after marching up to 
the reds' camp in military style, compelled the Indians to give 
up their guns and then ordered them to leave the country as 


fast as they could go. Deprived of their arms and with snow 
nearly two feet deep, the Indians found the winter a "hard one" 
indeed. Inkpadutah, through his interpreter, Half Breed Charley, 
made a protest against the wrong done them by the white folks, 
but all to no avail. They were told to go to the Omahas, but the 
chief's reply to this was that to do that unarmed was to go to a 
speedy death. But the Smithlanders were firm, and another order 
from the leader of the whites sent their tepees tumbling down over 
the heads of sucking babes as well as tottering belledames, when 
the march of the last of the red occupants of Little Sioux valley 
to the land of destruction and despair was forcibly begun. The 
march was continued from the 20th of February through packed 
snow, the infuriated band becoming demons as they proceeded. 
From the 8th to the 15th of March this once peaceful and 
inoffensive band destroyed over forty white people about the 
lakes, making no exception as to age or sex. 

Little Crow, head chief of the Indians, longed for vengeance. 
In the brain of this Indian Napoleon was concocted a scheme for 
the utter extermination of the white race of the Northwest. It 
was at the Yellow Stone agency, near Mankato, Minnesota, 
where the secret organization had its headquarters, and where a 
plot was hatched by this bold chief for a simultaneous uprising 
of the Indians upon a given signal to massacre the whites. But 
for the impatience of a few braves the loss of life would have 
been thousands instead of hundreds. This untoward movement, 
unfortunate for the plans of the great chief, Little Crow, is told 
thus by one of the writers of that war : 

"One lovely Sunday, August 17, 1862, four Indians from the 
Yellow Medicine agency, who had been on the trail of a Chippewa, 
the murderer of one of their tribe, after an unsuccessful pursuit, 
reached, on their return, the cabin of a man by the name of 
Robinson Jones, in the Big Woods of Minnesota, in what is now 
the town of Acton, Meeker county. This man was a sort of trader 
in a small way, and is supposed to have carried on an illicit trade 
in liquors with the Indians. His family consisted of himself, wife, 
an adopted child and a young girl. The Indians sauntered up to 
the cabin and, after some palaver, demanded drink, which they 
obtained. They demanded more, which they, it is supposed. 



were, for some reason, refused, and finally went away into the 
leafy shades of the forest that surrounded the place. Jones and 
his wife shortly after left for the house of Mrs. Jones' son by a 
former marriage, Howard Baker, who lived about half a mile 
distant. At Baker's cabin they found one Viranus Webster and 
his wife. These young people were journeying further west in 
search of a home, and had stopped to rest. Claiming hospitality 
of the young Mr. Baker, it was accorded with free will, and the 
two families fraternized in the true spirit of the western pioneer. 
Shortly after Jones and his wife arrived there, the men folks, 
who were sitting around outside the house, saw three Indians, 
gun in hand, approach. On their coming up to the little group 
of white men the usual salutations took place. After a little time 
the proposition was made that they all shoot at a mark, and the 
guns of the party were brought out. The victory in this case, 
as is nearly always the case when marksmanship between whites 
and redskins is a question, was with the settlers. This seemed 
to nettle the Indians. Propositions to trade guns between a red 
and white man now ensued. In the meantime the Indians loaded 
their guns while the white men stood around with empty weapons. 
Suddenly, without warning, one of the Indians raised his gun 
and fired at Jones, mortally wounding him. Webster was killed 
by another. Mrs. Howard Baker, hearing the firing, came to the 
door with her infant in her arms, and upon her appearance one of 
the savages raised his gun to shoot her, but her husband, with 
the chivalry of a knight of old, threw himself in front of the 
rifle, and, receiving the discharge, fell dead. The women retreated 
into the house. The young wife, inadvertently, stepped into an 
opening and fell into the cellar and thus saved her life. Mrs. 
Jones was also shot by one of the red fiends. These latter soon 
left the vicinity to spread the news, stopping on their way at the 
Jones cabin and killing the girl left there. They shortly after 
stole a team of horses and wagon and made their way south. 

"When the news reached the redskins at the agency, which 
it did long before the whites had an inkling of it, it created a 
sensation. The gauntlet had been thrown, war had been declared, 
and they must go forward or give up their plans. The Soldiers' 
Lodge was at once convened. The war spirit of the younger 


members was for an immediate rising. In vain Little Crow and 
his friends, the elders of the tribes, pleaded for delay, urging 
the want of time to perfect their plans, and to send the token of 
war to the other tribes. No, war and at once was the wish of the 
majority, and war it was. At early dawn the meeting broke up 
and the massacre of the whites began. At the agency blood was 
shed and all the red fiends started off on the warpath to slay the 

On the 23d of August, 1862, the Indians commenced hostilities 
in the valley of the Red River of the North. But part of the 
little garrison was at Fort Abercrombie at the time and a part 
of the command at Georgetown, Minnesota, and the east bank of 
the river, fifty miles north. They had been sent there for the 
purpose of overawing the Indians in that vicinity, who had 
threatened some obstruction of the navigation of the stream and 
to destroy the property of the Transportation Company. The 
interpreter at the post, who had gone to the Lower agency at the 
time of the payment of the Indians, returned on the 20th of 
August and reported to his commanding officer that the exaspera- 
tion of the Indians was increasing and that he expected hostilities 
to be commenced in the near future. Action was at once taken 
to guard against a surprise; guards were doubled and every 
effort made to put the little post in proper shape for defense. 
About this time officers of the government were on their way 
with a train of some thirty wagons, loaded with goods and 
attended by about two hundred head of cattle, toward the lodge 
of the Red Lake Chippewas, to conclude a treaty with these 
tribes. They had arrived, about this time, in the neighborhood 
of the fort. 

On the morning of the 23d of August word was brought to 
the commander of the post that a band of five hundred Sioux had 
crossed the Otter Tail River with the intention of cutting off 
and capturing the train and cattle. Word was sent at once to the 
train to come into the fort, which they quickly did. Messengers 
were also sent to Breckenridge, Old Crossing, Graham's Point 
and all the principal settlements telling the people to flee to 
the fort, as the garrison was too small to do much else than 
defend that post and could not afford protection to the scattered 


villages or settlers in the vicinity. The great majority of the 
settlers paid heed to the warning and the same evening the most 
of them] had arrived at the fort and had been assigned such 
quarters as could be furnished them. Most, if not all, of these, 
dwelt upon the east side of the river, in Minnesota, as but few 
settlers had then located on the west side, south of Pembina, as 
is shown elsewhere. 

Several men, among them being a Mr. Russell, however, pre- 
ferred to stay at Breckenridge, and took possession of a large 
hotel building and therein undertook to defend themselves and 
their property, but foolishly threw away their lives in the attempt. 

On the evening of that same day a scouting party of six men 
found that the place was in the hands of a large body of Indians, 
and being pursued, made a hasty retreat. On the 24th a recon- 
noissance was made by a larger party but the place was found 
deserted by the Indians. The bodies of three men who had 
undertaken its defense were discovered horribly mutilated. They 
had been dragged around by chains bound to their ankles until 
killed. An old lady by the name of Scott with a bullet wound in 
her breast had crawled on her hands and knees to the mill that 
was about a half mile from the hotel. Her son and grandson 
had been killed by the Indians. She told the boys where they 
would find the body of Joe Snell, a stage driver, three miles out 
from Breckinridge. After the burial of these bodies the old. lady 
was taken to the fort, but on the way they were attacked by 
the Indians, killing Bennett, the teamster, and nearly capturing 
Captain Mulls' wagon, containing the old lady. But Rounseval, 
the half-breed, made a charge and brought back the team, the 
old lady and the body of Bennett. 

Over fifty men had now taken refuge within the garrison. 
The fort was hard to fortify. There was a stockade along the 
river, while barrels of pork and corned beef and flour, in part 
with cordwood and earth were made use of to fortify the 
company's quarters. 

About this time some thousand or fifteen hundred savages 
gathered around the fort, determined on a capture of the pro- 
visions and a slaughter of its defenders. On the 25th of August 
a messenger was dispatched to headquarters for assistance, but 


owing to the stress of the war at the South most of the able- 
bodied men were away at the front. In this condition, with 
occasional skirmishing, that state of affairs continued for some 
time. On the 30th of August a party driving some stock from 
Old Crossing were fired into by some Sioux in ambush. One of 
their number was killed and a wagon, five mules and camp 
equipage was lost. About 2 o'clock this same afternoon the 
Indians captured about two hundred head of cattle, a hundred 
head of mules and horses that were grazing in the rear of the 
fort, but some fifty head of these cattle were recovered on 
September 2. 

On September 23 the garrison was suddenly called to arms 
by the report of alarm shots fired by the sentinels in the vicinity 
of the stock yards belonging to the post. The firing soon became 
sharp and rapid in that direction, developing the fact that the 
enemy were advancing upon that point in considerable force. 
Commands were issued for all those stationed outside to fall 
back within the fortifications. About the same time a couple of 
the haystacks were discovered to be on fire. The settlers, 
emboldened by the sight and inflamed by the thoughts of seeing 
their remaining cattle carried off or destroyed before their eyes, 
rushed, with great hardihood and ardor for the stables, and as 
the first two entered on one side two Sioux entered from the 
other. The foremost of the white men killed one of the Indians 
and capturd his gun. The second white man was shot in the 
shoulder by his red antagonist, but notwithstanding that shot 
he finished the Sioux with his bayonet. Two horses had been 
taken from the stable and two killed. The conflict was kept up 
for three hours, during which three of the little garrison were 
wounded, one mortally, by shots from the enemy. The post 
commander was severely wounded in the right arm by an acci- 
dental shot from one of his own men. After a brisk skirmish the 
Indians were forced to retire, without having been able to effect 
an entrance into the fort or to carry off the stock, which seemed 
to be the main object of the attack. 

A second attack was made on Saturday, September 6. About 
dawn, the Indians' favorite time for an onslaught, about fifty 
Indians, mounted on horseback, appeared on the open prairie, 


in the rear of the fort. It was evidently their intention, by boldly 
defying the garrison in this manner, with a small force, to tempt 
the troops to leave the fortification and march out to punish them 
for their temerity. By thus doing it would be giving the redskins 
the chance to take them at a disadvantage. Foiled in this plan, 
for there were shrewd and experienced heads within the fort 
who were a match for the Indian craft outside, the Sioux threw 
off all disguise and, displaying themselves in large numbers in 
different directions, entered upon a conflict. Their principal 
object of attack in this, as in former instances, was the stables 
of the government. They seemed to be possessed with the idea 
of getting hold of the remaining horses and cattle at almost any 

The stables were upon the edge of the prairie, with a grove 
of heavy timber lying between them and the river. The Sioux 
were quick to grasp the advantage of making their approach 
from the latter direction. They had gathered in great numbers 
and were determined to capture the fort. But their yells and 
warwhoops did not avail much. One chief after an attempt or 
two to get the Indians to boldly make a rush from the timbers 
through the intervening space to the stables of the fort for the 
stock gave it up. The withering volleys from the fort had begun 
to have some influence on savage bravery. 

About this time efforts were being made at St. Paul for the 
relief of the fort. Captain Emil Buerger was appointed to take 
command of an expedition from headquarters, with that end in 
view. With a force of about 250 men under the commands of 
Captains George Atkinson and Eolla Banks, together with some 
sixty men from the Third Volunteer Infantry, under Sergeant 
Dearborne, constituted his command. In the meantime two com- 
panies of soldiers under Captain George W. McCoy, and Theodore 
H. Barrett, were also marching to the relief of Fort Abercrombie. 
These forces had reached a point within sight of Red River, when 
they observed a dense smoke in the direction of the fort. The 
impression was that they had arrived too late and that the fort 
had fallen beneath the attacks of the Indians, but Old Glory was 
soon afterwards seen waving above the battlements, and the 
hearts of the soldiers were greatly cheered up by the sight of that 


old flag. The Indians had set fire to the prairie with the design 
of cutting off the crossing of the river by the relieving column. 
After some little skirmishing Captain Buerger with a part of the 
Third regiment pursued the Indians, who now began to retreat, 
going in the direction of Wild Rice and making good their escape. 

The scene of these last moments of the siege as described by a 
lady who had been in the fort during all those weeks waiting for 
the coming of relief is as follows : 

"About 5 o'clock the report came to quarters that the Indians 
were again coming from up toward Bridge's. With a telescope 
we soon discovered four white men, our messengers riding at 
full speed, who upon reaching here informed us that in one-half 
hour we would be reinforced by 350 men. Language can never 
express the delight of all. Some wept, some laughed, others 
hallooed and cheered. The soldiers and citizens here formed in 
line and went out to meet them. We all cheered so that the next 
day more than half of us could hardly speak aloud. The ladies 
all went out, and as the soldiers passed cheered them. They 
were so dusty I did not know one of them. ' ' 

No more Indians were seen about the fort until September 26, 
when, as Captain Freeman's company were watering their horses 
at the river, a volley was fired at them by a party of Sioux in 
ambush. A teamster with the expedition was hit and mortally 
wounded. The soldiers being unarmed could not reply, but 
from the log building and breastworks of the fort a brisk fire 
was opened up and several of the Indians were seen to fall. At 
one time two Indians were seen skulking near the river, and 
they were fired upon by men on the fortifications and seen to fall. 
Whenever the Indians congregated near the fort or within range, 
a shell from the howitzer (the Indians call a shell, rotten bullet), 
would fall among them and cause them to withdraw hurriedly. 

A detachment composed of Captain Freeman's mounted men, 
fifty soldiers of the Third regiment, and a squad in charge of a 
howitzer were ordered in pursuit of the savages and started over 
the prairie, up the river. About two miles away they came upon 
the Sioux camp, but the red warriors did not stay to contest its 
possession but fled in haste and consternation. A few shots were 
fired at them which they answered with yells of defiance. A shell 


from the howitzer, however, quieted their noise and added to 
the celerity of their retreat. Their camp was taken possession of 
and the valuable part of the result of the savages' looting taken 
to the fort. The balance was burned on the spot. This was about 
the last skirmish with the redskins around Fort Abercrombie. 

In the meantime steps had been taken at headquarters to 
punish the Indians for depredations and murders. Governor 
Ramsey exerted himself in the work and appointed Colonel 
Henry H. Sibley, a soldier of experience in Indian warfare, who 
having hastily gathered some four hundred men of the Sixth 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, started August 20 for the scene of 
butchery. While at Fort Ridgeley drilling his forces the Colonel 
learned that the Indians had gathered in all their scattered bands 
and were concentrating to oppose his forward movements. They 
did not have long to wait. A detachment under the command 
of Major J. R. Brown, who had been to Birch Coulie to give a 
decent burial to fifty-four bodies, were attacked about half past 
four in the morning of September 2. It was one of the most 
fearful battles of the Sioux massacre, the loss of men being 
twenty-three killed, or mortally wounded, forty-five severely 
wounded, and nearly ninety horses shot down. The report of the 
volleys of musketry was heard by Colonel Sibley eighteen miles 
away but he marched in time to the relief of the struggling 
detachment. After the battle Little Crow commenced his 
retreat up the Minnesota toward the Yellow Medicine. September 
16 Colonel Sibley ordered the advance of his whole column, which 
had now been considerably increased by the addition of the Third 
Infantry, and on September 22 he reached Wood Lake, where the 
Indians suffered great loss in a battle begun by them, 300 strong, 
in a four hours' furious battle. Colonel Sibley only lost four 
men and fifty wounded, but fourteen of the Indians were killed 
and left on the field, but probably as many more were carried 
away. Disaster after disaster overtaking the Indians, the war- 
riors now began to turn against their leaders and sue for peace. 
On the day the battle at Wood Lake occurred a deputation from 
the Wahpeton band came in under a flag of truce asking terms 
of peace. These terms of peace required them to give up their 
captives. Of these there were 107 pure white, and 162 half- 


breeds, mostly women and children. Other tribes also soon came 
in and surrendered. 

A military commission tried most of the Indians who gave 
themselves up and found 321 guilty of murder, rapine, arson, 
larceny and other crimes. Three hundred and three were recom- 
mended for capital punishment, and the rest to various terms of 
imprisonment. A mistaken policy upheld by those in the East, 
stayed the hands of Justice and those who had lost their all by 
that bloody, merciless massacre, only had the pleasure of know- 
ing that but thirty-eight of the ring leaders were to be hung at 
Mankato, December 26, 1862. 

After the defeat at Wood Lake, Little Crow and his band 
retreated in the direction of Big Stone Lake, some sixty miles 
westward. Sibley sent after them a messenger saying he w'ould 
pursue the deserters and that their only chance was to return at 
the earliest moment and with their families give themselves up. 
By the 8th of October some two thousand had made a voluntary 
return and surrender. Parties were sent out now to close up the 
conflict. Various bands of Indians were then rounded up by 
Lieutenant Colonel Marshall, who with his 250 men pursued 
them through South Dakota and brought in large numbers of 
them. It having been decided by the military authorities at 
Washington to inaugurate a second campaign against the sullen 
ones not yet reduced to submission, Major General John A. Pope, 
commanding the Department of the Northwest, decided that 
General Sully, commanding the upper district of the Missouri, 
and General (formerly Colonel) Sibley, commanding the district 
of Minnesota, should march with a large force against the Indians 
as early in the summer of 1863 as practicable. The objective 
point of both commands was Devil's Lake. One column was to 
proceed from Sioux City, on the Missouri River, and the other from 
some point on the Minnesota river. General Sully 's force was 
cavalry, Sibley 's of the Sixth, Seventh, and parts of the Ninth 
and Tenth Minnesota Infantry, and companies of the Minnesota 
Mountain Rangers, and the Third Minnesota Battery Light Artil- 
lery. At the appointed time General Sibley moved forward with 
his command, finally reaching Devil's Lake, but found no Indians. 
Leaving his footsore and sick in a strongly entrenched camp on 


the banks of the Upper Sheyenne, he took the greater part of 
his forces and started towards the Missouri Eiver; and, having 
found a camp of several hundred warriors, he gave them battle, 
defeating them badly. "With a resistless force he pursued the 
foe, always entailing great loss upon them, until his last battle 
with them), July 29, 1863, four miles south of the present state 
capital, Bismark, he gave them such a punishment that the name 
of Sibley has been a good one among the Sioux Indians ever 
since. That was the last battle of the Sioux war. Little Crow, 
the instigator of the massacre, returned to his old home, but 
Chauncey Lamson, a settler who lived in the neighborhood of 
Hutchinson, caught sight of the chief and his son in the timber 
in the southern part of Meeker county, Minnesota, and shot him. 
The son fled. The massacre commenced in Meeker county, and 
ended there. It began with Little Crow and ended with him. 

Alice Nelson Page, speaking of the $110,000 to be distributed 
from the government among the Sioux Indians on the Fort Totten 
reservation before November, 1908, gives a synopsis of the case 
brought in court by the Indians. The entire sum obtained in the 
original judgment is $788,000, which will be distributed to the 
three bands of the Sioux, the Cut Heads at Fort Totten, and the 
Wahpetons and Sissetons at the Sisseton agency in South Dakota. 
The writer says : 

Indians' Claim. 

"By the terms of the treaty with the different bands of the 
Sioux Indians of July 23, 1851, the United States agreed, in con- 
sideration of the cession of over 32,000,000 acres of land, to pay 
to the Indians the sum of $1,665,000 at the several times and 
places and in the following manner : $275,000 to the chiefs of the 
band to enable them to settle their affairs and comply with just 
engagements to remove themselves to the country set apart for 
them by the government, $30,000 for the establishment of manual 
labor schools, erection of mills and blacksmith shops, opening 
farms, fencing and breaking land, and for other beneficial pur- 
poses, and the balance of the sum of $1,665,000 ($1,360,000) was 
to remain in trust with the United States, and 5 per cent interest 
paid annually for fifty years, beginning with July 1, 1852; and 
after this, setting apart a reservation for the Indians, was stricken 


out by the Senate in the ratification of the treaty, the United 
States agreed, in the amendment of this, to pay the Indians 
10 cents per acre for the lands embraced therein (1,120,000 acres) 
amounting to $112,000, which was to be added to the original 
trust fund of $1,360,000, making a total of $1,472,000, the total of 
which yielded an annual interest of $73,000. 

Clause Inserted. 

According to the Indians, notwithstanding the agreement of 
the United States to pay to them the considerations named in 
this treaty, their ignorance was taken advantage of and a clause 
inserted in the treaty, without their knowledge or consent, pro- 
viding the interest on the sum agreed to be paid to them for fifty 
years should be in full payment of the balance principal and 
interest, so that on July 1, 1902, the sum of $1,472,000 went to 
the United States absolutely, and the Indians never received any 
portion of it. The government took both lands and the considera- 
tion agreed to be paid therefor for it and the Indians demanded 
that by every principle enunciated by the highest judicial tri- 
bunals of the country they were entitled to the interest on the 
amount of the principal sum withheld from them; they further 
alleged that of the $275,000 agreed in the treaty to be paid to 
the chiefs of the tribes, $250,000 was paid by a representative of 
the United States, to one Hugh Tyler, a stranger in the country, 
contrary to their wishes and against which they protested in 
violation of the treaty's stipulation and the act of congress mak- 
ing the appropriation. By the act of congress February 16, 1863, 
the lands and annuities of the Indians were declared forfeited to 
the United States ; and by another act of March 3, 1863, the presi- 
dent was authorized and directed to set apart for these bands of 
Indians a tract of unoccupied country outside the limits of any 
state, in extent to assign each member of the band eighty acres of 
good agricultural land. The bands numbered at that time 4,524 
Indians and the quantity of land directed to be assigned them 
amounted to 361,920 acres. They claimed the act of Congress 
was never complied with and the lands were never set apart for 
them as directed, and they were therefore entitled to payment 
for these lands. 


Tyler Made Good Haul. 

Of the $70,000 authorized by the third article of the treaty of 
1858 with the Indians to be used by them in their discretion and 
open council, for payment of their just debts and obligations, 
$55,000 was paid to this man Hugh Tyler for getting the treaty 
through the Senate, and for necessary disbursements. In 1857 a 
trader pretending that he was getting the power of attorney to get 
back the money which had been paid to the traders out of the 
funds provided by the treaty of 1851 obtained the signatures of 
the Indians to vouchers by which they claim he swindled them 
out of $12,000. These bands of Indians have always said they 
remained loyal to the government during the outbreak of 1862 
and many of them claim to have rendered valuable services to 
the government during the time of the outbreak, acting as scouts 
and soldiers, and of the 4,524 Indians at that time, only 124 ever 
took any prominent part in the outbreak. This was found by 
Justice Nott of the court of claims in the case of the Sisseton and 
Wahpeton Indians against the United States. By the forfeiture 
act of 1863, Congress fixed $100,000 as the amount to be paid out 
of the annuities of these bands of Indians to white settlers 
on account of damages sustained by reason of this outbreak. The 
court of claims and the supreme court of the United States, in 
the final hearing of this case charges the sum; of $586,328.95 
against the annuities of the Indians in payment of damages 
resulting from the outbreak, in direct violation of the positive 
terms of the act of 1863 and of sections 2097 and 2098 of the 
United States Eevised Statutes. The Indians contended this to 
be unjust and unreasonable to charge any portion of the damages 
against annuities of the loyal members of the Sisseton and 
Wahpeton bands. 

Are "Farmer Indians." 

These bands of Indians claimed to be farmer Indians and by 
their thrift and industry had well improved farms, with all the 
necessary outbuildings, machinery and tools for cultivating them 
and also had at that time large herds of stock. 

As the result of the outbreak of 1862 the Indians claimed 


that they lost $425,000 and $70,000 worth of their crops were 
taken to subsist the troops of the United States, a total of 
$495,000 which was vouched for in the report of the commission 
of Indian affairs for the year 1863. The treaty of February 19, 
1867, was made with the loyal members of these Indians, those 
who took none but a friendly part in the outbreak. It was pro- 
vided by an amended article of this treaty that Congress would 
from time to time, at its discretion, make such appropriations as 
might be deemed requisite to enable the Indians to return to an 
agricultural life under the system in operation on the Sioux 
reservation in 1862. 

Losses Not Reimbursed. 

The Indians claim Congress from time to time appropriated 
the sum of $464,953.40, being $31,006.60 less than the amount of 
their losses during the outbreak. It was evident from this treaty 
and from the circumstances which brought it about that it was 
the intention of Congress in this way to reimburse the Indians 
for the losses sustained by them during the outbreak, and it was 
so understood by the Indians. They further claimed that the 
court of claims and the United States Supreme Court in the final 
determination of their case charged the sum of $464,963.40 
against their annuities in direct violation of the terms made. 
The courts in one case charged against their annuities $200,000 
appropriated for subsistence while the records of the Interior 
Department showed that the whole sum was expended for the 
benefit of the Medawakanton and Wahpakwota bands of Indians. 
By an agreement made in 1872, the Indians ceded to the United 
States their lands in Dakota (now North and South Dakota), 
except two reservations, for the sum of $800,000. The commis- 
sioners who negotiated the agreement estimating the area ceded 
at 8,000,000 acres, fixing the price at 10 cents per acre. 

It has since been ascertained that the area contained in said 
cession is largely in excess of the estimation made by the com- 
missioners, and for which excess the Indians claimed they were 
entitled to payment. By article two of the treaty of February 19, 
1867, the Indians claimed they ceded to the United States the 
right to construct wagon roads, railroads, mail stations, telegraph 



lines and such other improvements as the government might 
require, over and across the land described in the treaty. The 
Northern Pacific Eailroad Company secure a right of way of 200 
feet in width on each side of its road for seventy miles over and 
across the lands of these Indians, including all the necessary 
grounds for station buildings, work shops, depots, machine shops, 
switches, side tracks and turntables and water stations, for which 
cession the Indians claimed they never received any consideration, 
and for which they felt entitled to payment. 



Webster Merrifield, 

President of the University of North Dakota. 

The University of North Dakota. 

The history of higher education in North Dakota dates from 
the passage through the legislature, February 23, 1883, and its 
approval by Governor Ordway four days later, of the bill creating 
the University of North Dakota. Dr. "W. T. Collins, at that time 
a citizen of Grand Forks, seems to have .been the first to entertain 
the idea of securing a public institution of higher education for 
North Dakota, or at least for Grand Forks.* The territorial legis- 
lature, as early as 1881, established a territorial university at 
Vermillion and provided conditionally for the establishment of 
five normal schools ; but all of these were to be located in that 
part of Dakota territory which subsequently became the state of 
South Dakota. In a letter addressed to Hon. George H. Walsh, 
member of the territorial council from Grand Forks county, under 
date of January 8, 1883, Dr. Collins suggested that the former 
make an effort to secure a territorial normal school for Grand 
Forks. Mr. Walsh answered in part as follows : 

*Note: Since this chapter was put in type, Hon. James Twamley of Grand 
Forks, a member of the First Board of Eegents of the University, has stated 
to the writer that he was the first one to suggest a territorial university for 
Grand Forks. He claims to have made the suggestion to Governor Ordway 
several months prior to the date of Dr. Collins' letter of January 8, 1883, 
to Mr. Walsh. 



' ' Territory of Dakota, Council Chamber, 

Yankton, D. T., January 17, 1883. 
W. T. Collins, 

Grand Forks, 
My Dear Sir: 

In reference to a normal school, the governor is not favorably 
inclined, as you can see by his message. How would an agricul- 
tural college or university, with a section providing for a normal 
department, do? I think probably that the governor would be 
more favorable to an institution of this kind. 


George H. Walsh." 

The suggestion of a university instead of a normal school 
seems to have impressed Dr. Collins favorably and he at once 
wrote Mr. Walsh strongly urging the university idea. On Febru- 
ary 8 Dr. Collins received another letter from Mr. Walsh, dated 
February 1, 1883, asking to have a bill prepared for the proposed 
university and forwarded to him for introduction. Dr. Collins 
at once set to work to draft a bill which he forwarded by express 
to Mr. Walsh at Yankton on February 10. 

After writing his letter of February 1 to Dr. Collins, Mr. 
Walsh was called to St. Paul and while there learned that another 
member from the northern half of the territory had a bill in 
preparation for the location of a university at Jamestown. On 
learning this, Mr. Walsh at once returned to Yankton and, not 
finding the expected bill from Dr. Collins, had a bill (probably 
the Wisconsin bill) copied and introduced. This bill, materially 
amended after its introduction, is the present organic act of the 

Following the passage of this bill, Mr. Walsh introduced and 
secured the passage of another bill appropriating $30,000.00 to 
the university provided the citizens of Grand Forks should con- 
tribute a site of not less than ten acres of land, and also a sum of 
not less than $10,000.00 for the erection and equipment of an 
astronomical observatory. To carry out the provisions of the 
two bills just described a board of regents was appointed by 
Governor Ordway consisting of Dr. W. T. Collins, Dr. C. E. Teel 


and Mr. James Twamley, of Grand Forks; Dr. R. M. Evans, of 
Minto, and Mr. E. A. Healy, of Dray ton Messrs. Healy, Teel 
and Twamley for a term of four years and Messrs. Collins and 
Evans for a term of two years. The appointments were promptly 
confirmed and the new board, having qualified, held its first 
meeting at the city hall, Grand Forks, on the 21st of April. A 
temporary organization was effected by the election of C. E. 
Teel as president and "W. T. Collins as secretary. 

At this meeting it was decided to advertise for tenders for 
a site for the university, and also for plans and specifications 
for the new building. 

At the next meeting of the board, May 16th, a code of by-laws 
was adopted, the tender of twenty acres of land and $10,000 for 
the erection and equipment of an astronomical observatory, made 
by Messrs. William Budge, M. Ohmer and John McKelvey, was 
accepted, and plans were adopted for the new building. Ground 
was broken May 25th and the contract for the construction of 
the new building was let August 15th to E. P. Broughton, of 
Minto, for $32,500. The cornerstone was laid, with imposing 
ceremonies, October 2, 1883, the program being arranged and 
carried out under the auspices of the Acacia Lodge of Free 
Masons of Grand Forks. Among the many distinguished guests 
present were : The governor of the territory, Hon. N. G. Ordway, 
who made an address, and Hon. D. L. Kiehle, superintendent of 
public instruction for Minnesota, who was the orator of the 
occasion, taking for his theme ''Intelligence the Basis of Chris- 
tian Civilization." 

The new building progressed without adverse incident and 
was so far completed as to be opened for the reception of students 
September 8, 1884. The first year's faculty consisted of William 
M. Blackburn, D. D., recently of Cincinnati, Ohio, president and 
professor of metaphysics; Henry Montgomery, B. S., M. A., 
recently of Toronto University, professor of natural science; 
Webster Merrifield, B. A., recently a member of the faculty of 
Yale University, assistant professor of Greek and Latin; and 
Mrs. E. H. Mott, preceptress and instructor in mathematics and 
English. The enrollment during the first year was seventy-nine 
students, classified as follows : 


Senior preparatory 10 

Junior preparatory 18 

Special students (mainly of seventh and eighth 
grades) 51 

Total 79 

In the absence of all students of college rank, most of the 
members of the instructional force were called upon to give 
instruction in departments other than those over which they had 
been called to preside. At the end of the first school year Presi- 
dent Blackburn resigned to accept the presidency of the Presby- 
terian College at Pierre, D. T., and Mrs. Mott also resigned her 
position as preceptress. Professor Henry Montgomery served as 
acting president for two years, and Miss Jennie Allen, principal 
of the Grand Forks high school, was elected to succeed Mrs. 
Mott as preceptress. Professor John Macnie, M. A., a graduate 
of Glasgow and Yale universities, and Professor Horace B. Wood- 
worth, a graduate of Dartmouth College and for many years a 
Congregational clergyman, were elected to the faculty at the 
close of the first year, the first as professor of French, German 
and English, and the second as professor of mathematics, physics 
and astronomy. Both of these men remained with the university 
for twenty years or more. 

In September, 1887, Colonel Homer B. Sprague, Ph. D., a grad- 
uate of Yale, formerly professor of English at Cornell University, 
and at various times the head of several well known institutions 
of higher and secondary education in New York, New England 
and on the Pacific coast, was elected to the presidency. Colonel 
Sprague had served as a commissioned officer throughout the 
Civil War, and was well known as a writer, as a popular platform 
orator, and particularly as editor of numerous poems and plays 
of Milton and Shakespeare. 

Colonel Sprague 's greatest service to the university during 
the three years that he held the office of president consisted in 
his making the institution known through the addresses and plat- 
form lectures which he gave in great numbers throughout the 
state. During his administration the attendance, which had for 


various reasons fallen from seventy-nine the first year to forty- 
eight and seventy-five respectively the two succeeding years, rose 
to ninety-eight and one hundred ninety-nine respectively during 
the first two years of his presidency. During his administration 
the faculty also increased from nine to fourteen members. In 
March, 1891, Colonel Sprague resigned the presidency to assume 
the management of a young ladies' school in California, and 
Webster Merrifield, professor of Greek and Latin, was elected 
as his successor, first as acting president, and then, at the follow- 
ing commencement, as president of the university. Under Presi- 
dent Merrifield J s administration the university has experienced 
in full measure the vicissitudes of fortune. The governor's veto 
of the university appropriation and that of the two normal 
schools in 1895, on the ground that the state's revenue was 
insufficient to provide for the maintenance of the state educa- 
tional institutions, threatened for a time the very existence 
of the institution; but, once recovered from the shock of sur- 
prise, the citizens of Grand Porks and of the northeastern portion 
of the state rallied to the support of the university under the 
leadership of Hon. William Budge, a local member of the board 
of trustees, and what at first threatened to be an irreparable 
calamity proved a blessing in disguise, winning to the cordial 
support of the institution many whose attitude had hitherto been 
one of lukewarmness or indifference. 

The appropriation of 1897, following Governor Allen's veto, 
was fairly liberal, and in 1899 came the passage of the two-fifths 
mill bill, giving the university, for the first time, an income not 
only fairly adequate to her needs, but one which is permanent 
and increases with the growth of the state in wealth and with 
the growing demands made upon the university in consequence. 

During the first year of President Merrifield 's administration 
the attendance numbered 151. For the few years following, the 
annual increase in attendance was small, owing to the fact that, 
instead of being, as heretofore, the only state educational institu- 
tion, it was now one of four such institutions, the agricultural 
college and the two state normal schools having been opened for 
the reception of students in September, 1891. 

The growth of the university in student attendance, in the 



ci > 
r 525 


number of graduates and in the number of instructors, is indi- 
cated in the following tables : 

Student attendance, 1884-5 79 

Student attendance, 1887-8 99 

Student attendance, 1890-91 151 

Student attendance, 1893-4 156 

Student attendance, 1896-7 265 

Student attendance, 1899- '00 306 

Student attendance, 1902-3 413 

Student attendance, 1905-6 733 

Student attendance, 1907-8 861 

Beginning with 1895 the attendance in the summer session is 
included in the total enrollment. 


Law. neering. Total. 


6 .. 28 

25 6 55 

31 11 93 

*Changed to Teachers' College in 1907. 

Number of Instructors. 

1884 4 1887 9 

1890 14 1893 21 

1896 13 1899 23 

1902 38 1905 49 

1908 ' 65 

The total number of graduates, including the class of 1908, 
is 566 ; total number of diplomas granted, 626. 

Upon the admission of North Dakota to statehood, the Uni- 
versity received a grant of 126,080 acres of public land from 



Arts. Normal.* 


6 2 


15 3 


10 13 

1902 . 

12 10 

1905. . 7 . 

11 13 


22 29 


the federal congress 40,000 acres of this grant going to the 
School of Mines, which had been united with the university under 
the provisions of the constitution of the state. 


Under the provisions of the organic act creating the Uni- 
versity, the following colleges and departments have thus far 
been established. The numerals and letters following the name 
of each college indicate the year in which it was organized and 
the degrees granted by it : 

I. College of Liberal Arts, 1883 ; B. A., M. A. 

II. Teachers College, 1907 (successor to the Normal College 
established by law as a department of the University in 
1883) ; B. A. 

III. College of Mining Engineering, 1898 ; E. M. 

IV. College of Law, 1899; LL.B. 

V. College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, 
1901 ; M. E. 

VI. College of Medicine, 1905. 

VII. Model High School, 1908 (successor to the Preparatory 
Department, 1884, and School of Commerce, 1901.) 

At the legislative session of 1907 a Public Health Laboratory 
was established and located at the University in charge of a 
resident director. 


The government of the university is vested in a Board of 
Trustees, five in number, who are appointed by the governor and 
confirmed by the senate, and who hold office for a term of four 
years each. It is the duty of the trustees to determine the policy 
of the university in all its departments and to act as conserva- 
tors of the interests of the state in all matters pertaining to the 

Buildings and Grounds. 

The university is housed in eleven substantial buildings 
located on the university campus, which is situated one mile 
west of the city limits of Grand Forks on the main line of the 


Great Northern Railway. These buildings, with the dates of 
their erection, are as follows: 

Main building, 1883-4; Davis Hall (a young women's dormi- 
tory), 1887; Macnie Hall (a young women's dormitory), 1893, 
greatly enlarged and named Macnie Hall in honor of Prof. John 
Macnie, professor emeritus of French and Spanish, 1907; Budge 
Hall (men's dormitory, named in honor of Hon. William Budge), 
1899; Power House, 1899; Science Hall, 1902; Mechanical Engi- 
neering building, 1902; President's House, 1903; Carnegie 
Library, 1907 ; Gymnasium, 1907 ; School of Mines building, 1907. 

The Law School occupies, for the present, rented quarters in 
the city of Grand Forks. The university campus contains 100 
acres, forty acres of which, lying east of the English Coulee, 
have been handsomely laid out in walks and drives and orna- 
mented with trees, shrubs and flowers. Of these forty acres, 
twenty were given to the university by President Merrifield in 
1906. It is expected that the sixty acres west of the English 
Coulee will eventually become the university athletic field. The 
university is connected with the city of Grand Forks by means 
of a trolley line making half hour trips daily, and also by means 
of the main line of the Great Northern Railway. 

The Affiiliation Plan. 

No history of the University would be complete which failed 
to make mention of the movement looking to the grouping of 
the church schools of the different religious denominations of 
the state about the State University. In 1906 the trustees passed 
a resolution inviting all educational agencies of the state to 
make use of the educational facilities afforded by the State Uni- 
versity to whatever extent it might serve their convenience to 
do so. Acting upon this invitation, the Methodist Church of 
North Dakota in 1906 removed its educational institution (Red 
River Valley University) from Wahpeton to a new location 
adjoining the State University, changing the name of the same 
(except that it retains the old title for corporate purposes) to 
Wesley College. For a more detailed account of this movement 
the reader is referred to the History of Wesley College narrated 
in later pages of this chapter. 


The Baptist Church of North Dakota has committed itself 
to some form of association with the State University in the 
carrying on of its educational work. It is understood also that 
the Presbyterian Church of North Dakota has a similar proposi- 
tion under advisement. The plan has received wide attention 
and approval throughout the country as offering the wisest 
solution as yet proposed of the problem of the co-operation of 
church and state in the great work of education particularly in 
the newer states in which the several religious denominations 
have not yet committed themselves to elaborate and expensive 
independent educational plants. 


In May, 1906, Mr. Andrew Carnegie gave to the University, 
through President Merrifield, the sum of $30,000 for the erection 
of a library building on the University campus. In 1907 Mr. 
James J. Hill gave the University, through Dr. James E. Boyle, 
of the department of Economics, the sum of $3,500 to be used in 
the purchase of books on railway transportation and allied sub- 
jects. At the annual meeting of the trustees in June, 1907, 
President Merrifield donated to the University the twenty acres 
of land lying immediately to the east of the main campus, the 
gift being without conditions as to the use to be made of it. The 
trustees accepted the gift and have used the land in extending 
the main University campus to the east. Messrs. Patton and 
Miller, at the request of the trustees, have drawn plans for the 
larger campus, and the new Carnegie library and the new School 
of Mines building have been erected on the land donated by 
President Merrifield. 

North Dakota Agricultural College. 

An agricultural college was first located at Fargo, Cass county, 
in 1883 by act of the Territorial Legislature, when the university, 
the Hospital for the Insane and the penitentiary were respec- 
tively located at Grand Forks, Jamestown and Bismarck. The 
act locating this college at Fargo named a board of trustees, and 
imposed conditions as to procuring a tract of land for the same. 
The importance of this institution did not then appeal to the 


people of Fargo ; the trustees would not qualify, and nothing was 
done. The author of the act (S. G. Roberts, of Fargo), believing 
that such an institution would in the future be of the greatest 
importance and benefit to the development of an agricultural 
country, succeeded in having an act passed by the Territorial 
Legislature, in 1885, reenacting and continuing in force the act 
of 1883, thereby keeping the location of the college at Fargo 
until 1889, when the Constitutional Convention, assembled at 
Bismarck, permanently located, and the following Legislative 
Assembly of the newly admitted State of North Dakota perma- 
nently established it at Fargo under the name of the "North 
Dakota Agricultural College." 

The last named act provided for the organization of the col- 
lege, erection of buildings, etc., to make effective the provisions 
of the Morrill Act of 1862, having for its purpose the education 
of the industrial classes in the science of agriculture and the 
mechanical arts. 

The Morrill Act gave to each state and territory 30,000 acres 
of land for each member of Congress representing that state or 
territory. North Dakota, when admitted to statehood, was 
entitled to three representatives (two Senators and one member 
of the lower house), and accordingly received 90,000 acres of land 
under the Morrill Act for the endowment of a state agricultural 

The ' * Enabling Act, ' ' under which North Dakota was admitted 
to statehood, gave the state 40,000 acres of land in addition to 
that given under the Morrill Act, making a total of 130,000 acres. 
The legislative act establishing the college also endowed it with 
the section of land immediately northwest of the city of Fargo 
on which the college is located. The same act provided an appro- 
priation of $25,000 for buildings and equipment. Under the 
Morrill Act of August 30, 1890, each state agricultural college 
receives $25,000 annually from the federal government. Begin- 
ning with the year 1908, the Nelson Amendment increases this 
appropriation by $5,000 annually until, in 1912, each state agri- 
cultural college will receive $50,000 annually from the federal 


The Hatch Act of March 2, 1887, gave each state $15,000 
annually for a state experiment station, and the Adams Act of 
March 16, 1906, provided for an increase of that amount to 
$20,000 for the year ending June 30, 1906, and for an increase of 
$2,000 yearly thereafter until, in 1911, the yearly appropriation 
will amount to $30,000, making a total of $80,000 received an- 
nually from the federal government by each state agricultural 
college and experiment station. This handsome income is sup- 
plemented by an annual appropriation from the state of a fixed 
tax of 20/100 of a mill on the assessed valuation of the state for 
purposes of taxation. 

By constitutional and statutory provisions, the college lands 
cannot be sold for less than $10 per acre. The land grant of the 
State Agricultural College will thus yield a permanent endow- 
ment considerably in excess of $1,300,000, as the lands already 
sold have yielded an average price considerably in excess of $10 
per acre. Only the annual income from this endowment may be 
expended by the college, the state, under the terms of the 
"Enabling Act," being required to guarantee the perpetuity of 
the principal derived from the sale of all the institutional lands 
received from the federal government upon admission to state- 

The college was organized October 5, 1890, with Hon. H. F. 
Miller, of Fargo, as president of the first board of trustees. H. E. 
Stockbridge, Ph. D., was elected the first president of the college. 
The faculty and officers for the first year numbered eight mem- 
bers besides the president. The institution was opened for the 
reception of students September 8, 1891, in rented rooms in the 
basement of the main building of Fargo College. There were five 
students in attendance on the opening day, and 122 were enrolled 
during the first year. The present Administration Building was 
so far completed as to be ready for occupancy January 1, 1892. 
This building contains the offices of administration, the chapel 
and various class rooms. It also contained originally the library 
and laboratories. Other buildings have been added from time 
to time out of special appropriations made by the legislature for 
building purposes until now (1908) the college has seventeen 


buildings in all, some of them being among the finest college 
buildings in the northwest. Among the more important buildings 
are the following: 

Administration Building, Mechanical Building, Science Hall, 
Francis Hall (for class rooms and laboratories), new heating 
plant, horse barn, cattle barn, the Chemical Laboratory, Carnegie 
Library, Engineering Building, Mill and Flour Testing Labora- 
tory, and Horticultural Green House. The last and finest of all 
the buildings is the new Engineering Building, for which the 
legislature of 1907 appropriated $65,000. 

In 1901 the legislature passed the so-called Newman Bill, 
under the provisions of which a permanent tax of one mill was 
levied upon the assessed valuation of the state for the purpose 
of maintaining the educational institutions of the state. Under 
the terms of this act the Agricultural College receives one-fifth of 
the entire proceeds of the tax, yielding for the year 1908 $42,500. 
This may be used only for maintenance. The legislature makes 
special appropriations from time to time for buildings. The 
special appropriations made to the Agricultural College by the 
Legislative Assembly of 1907 amounted to $102,000 for buildings 

In 1895 President Stockbridge was succeeded in the presi- 
dency by Col. J. B. Power, a practical and successful farmer of 
the state on a large scale. In 1895 Hon. J. H. Worst, LL.D., a 
former lieutenant governor of the state and a member for some 
sessions of the Legislative Assembly, was elected president. Most 
of the growth of the Agricultural College has been made under 
President Worst's exceedingly able and energetic administration. 
During the first year of President Worst's administration there 
were 185 students enrolled. During the year 1906-7 there were 
818 students in attendance and 55 enrolled in the correspondence 
course. The great majority of these were enrolled in the short 
courses. These short courses are exceedingly practical and use- 
ful, and through them the Agricultural College is gradually 
transforming the agriculture of North Dakota. During President 
Worst's administration the teaching staff has increased from less 
than a dozen members to more than forty, and the number of 
separate departments from five or six to fourteen. The alumni 


number forty-nine members. Five full courses of study of four 
years each are provided for, each leading to the degree of 
Bachelor of Science, viz. : Agricultural, mechanical engineering, 
civil engineering, scientific, and pharmaceutical chemistry. The 
degree of Master of Arts is also conferred for graduate work. 

Several members of the college faculty, notably Professors 
Bolley and Ladd, have won a national reputation, the former for 
his original contributions to the knowledge of the cause and cure 
of flax wilt, the latter for his remarkably vigorous and efficient 
work as pure food commissioner for North Dakota, in which field 
North Dakota is generally recognized as having done pioneer 
work under the able direction of Professor Ladd. 

Under the wise direction of President Worst, the Agricultural 
College is doing much to transform agriculture in our state from 
a make-shift into a profession based upon strictly scientific 

State Normal Schools. 

That the Dakotas were to have normal schools was predeter- 
mined. All Western states had been providing for them and 
they clearly met a definite need of the times. The only question 
that would interest an antiquarian is how the schools came to 
be where they are. This is a long story, and no one is in pos- 
session of all the facts. 

The prominence of the normal school idea in the minds of 
the people is clearly shown in the legislation which took place 
in the territorial legislature of 1881, providing for the location 
of five normal schools, all of them, however, in South Dakota, 
and all upon the condition that the towns or cities where they 
were located should furnish a site comprising 160 acres, with 
the evident intention of producing an endowment fund by the 
sale of lots. 

Division of the territory had already been talked of and in 
1883 Bother normal schools were located, nearly all of them in 
North Dakota; one at Pembina, one at Minto, one at Larimore. 
These, likewise, were upon the condition of a donation of 160 
acres of land by each of the towns. This condition in each case 


seems never to have been met, either through indifference of the 
cities themselves or inability. 

Meantime the people of Milnor, finding it so easy to locate 
normal schools, organized and established what they called the 
Territorial Normal School, maintaining the same by contributions 
from their own people, in the expectation that when the division 
of the territory was realized, they, having a real working normal 
school, would be the first community to be recognized under 
the new constitution. They had called a veteran teacher and 
educational writer, John Ogderi, to the headship of their insti- 
tution. He was assisted by Emma F. Bates. Both of these indi- 
viduals were afterwards superintendents of Public Instruction, 
and both had much to do with the early history of the normal 
school at Valley City. 

Two of the normal schools in South Dakota were by this 
time organized and maintained by the Territory of Dakota. In 
the report of the Territorial Board of Education to the governor 
and legislature in 1888, written by the present president of the 
State Normal School at Valley City, speaking of the normal 
schools then in existence, the writer says: "We desire to call 
your attention and that of the legislature to the pressing need 
of a normal school at some central and accessible point in North 
Dakota. At present there is no public school in that section 
where teachers can be trained for thorough work in our common 
schools." Everyone now felt that the division of the territory 
was assured, and the people of North Dakota were anxious to 
duplicate the institutions of South Dakota. The legislature to 
which this report was made had been elected. A member thereof 
from LaMoure, anxious to do something to commend himself to 
his constituents, directed covetous eyes toward the normal school 
at Milner, and decided to introduce a bill in the Territorial 
Council to locate a normal school at his city. In furtherance of 
this plan, he wrote to the Hon. Hkigh McDonald, of Valley City, 
a member of the Territorial Council, soliciting his assistance. 
Whereupon Mr. McDonald thought it would be a good plan to 
secure something for his people and introduced a bill in the 
winter of 1889 locating the North Dakota Agricultural College 
at Valley City. This bill passed both branches of the legislature, 


but was vetoed by the Democratic governor, Louis K. Church. 
Inasmuch as the Agricultural College had been on two or three 
occasions located at Fargo though nothing had been done to 
organize it there the Fargo influence took alarm at the success 
of Mr. McDonald. Accordingly, when the federal act was 
passed permitting division, and providing for the formation of 
the constitution, the Fargo influence was quite willing that Valley 
City should have a state institution other than the Agricultural 
College. When the Constitutional Convention was organized, 
Hon. H. F. Miller, of Cass county, was made chairman of the 
Committee on Public Institutions and Buildings, and to this 
committee was referred the whole question of the location of 
public institutions. Fargo, of course, wanted the Agricultural 
College. Several of the state institutions were already located. 
It was soon conceded that Valley City should have a state insti- 
tution, and as the most valuable thing left was the normal school, 
the location of a North Dakota state normal school was conceded 
to Valley City. But some opposition to the bill providing for 
the location of all the institutions developed in the convention, 
and in order to assure the passage of the report of the majority 
of the Committee on Public Institutions, it was deemed advisable 
to placate another section of the state by locating a second 
normal school at Mayville, in order thereby to secure a few 
additional votes in the convention. The report of this committee 
was adopted on the 16th of August, 1889, after a protracted and 
somewhat bitter debate, the opposition conning mainly from com- 
munities not to be recognized in the distribution of institutions. 
The federal government had made an appropriation of 80,000 
acres of land for the support of normal schools, and the Consti- 
tutional Convention assigned 50,000 acres to the Valley City, and 
30,000 acres to the Mayville normal. 

Mayville Normal School. 

The State Normal School at Mayville was established by the 
Constitutional Convention of this state and made a part of the 
public school system. It was endowed with 30,000 acres of land, 
the provisions of Article XIX of the State Constitution. 



It opened its doors to students in the city hall in 1890. Later 
it occupied rooms in the public school building until late in 
1893, when, its own building being completed, it removed to it. 

The Normal School Building. 

At a meeting of the Board of Management in October, 1891, 
it was agreed to purchase of Mr. Boyum ten acres from his 
tract of land fronting on K street, at $80 an acre. This was to 
be used as a site for the normal school. 

On April 29, 1892, the contract for the erection of the outside 
of the building was awarded to John A. Weedal of Wilmar, 
Minn., according to plans and specifications made by Architect 
T. D. Allen. The contract price of the new building was to be 

Work began at once and was completed in November. During 
1893 contracts were entered into to complete the different stories 
and entrances of the building by F. Field, of Mayville, for the 
sum of $6,095. 

In August, 1893, bids for heating and ventilating the building 
were accepted from the firm of Saxton-Philips Company, of Min- 
neapolis, for $3,693. 

In November, 1898, the matter of enlarging the present build- 
ing for the better accommodation of students came before the 
Board of Management, and it was decided to ask the legislature 
for an appropriation for this purpose. On March 20, 1905, the 
ninth legislature appropriated $45,000 to make an addition to 
the old building. On April 12, 1905, the contract was awarded 
to Johnson & Powers, of Fargo, under plans and specifications 
made by W. C. Albrant, of Fargo. This addition was completed 
in the fall of 1907, after an additional appropriation had been 
made by the tenth legislature of $15,000. 

The tenth legislature also appropriated $20,000 for the erec- 
tion of a woman's dormitory and this building is under process 
of construction, the contract having been awarded to Johnson, 
Anderson & Johnson, of Fargo, according to plans and specifica- 
tions, made by Hancock Bros., of Fargo, N. D. 


Management of the School. 

The first president of the school was James McNaughton, and 
he had a faculty of four members. Students enrolled during the 
year 1891-2 numbered eighty-five in the normal department. 

The second year of the school the faculty numbered nine 
members, including the president of the school, and students 
enrolled in the normal department numbered 145. 

The second president was L. B. Avery, 1893-1895. 

The third president was J. T. Perigo, 1895-1897. 

The fourth president was Joseph Carhart, 1897-1907. 

The fifth president is Thomas A. Hillyer, 1907. 


The following list shows the number of graduates in the dif- 
ferent years : 

1895, 15; 1896, 13; 1897, 7; 1898, 3; 1899, 13; 1900, 20; 
1901, 15; 1902, 22; 1903, 21; 1904, 26; 1905, 33; 1906, 54; 1907, 48. 


November 23, 1899, the school was presented with $1,000 by 
Mr. Grandin for the purpose of starting a reference library. At 
different times books were received from friends of the school 
and various appropriations have been made by the state for the 
purchase of books. The library now numbers about 3,100 vol- 

In January, 1901, permission was gained to use the city 
schools for practice purposes. 

Valley City Normal School. 

In the first state legislature a bill was introduced by Hon. 
Duncan McDonald, who was a member of the lower house, pro- 
viding for the organization and establishment of a normal school 
at Valley City. This bill passed and received the executive 
approval March 8, 1890, but as it carried no appropriation, little 
could be done in starting a school. Therefore, the people of 
Valley City contributed funds sufficient to open school in a small 
way on the 13th of October, 1890, in a room of the public school 


building rented for the purpose. The Rev. J. W. Sifton, a local 
pastor, was made principal. In the succeeding legislative assem- 
bly, that of 1891, Frank White, since governor of the state, intro- 
duced a bill to provide for the erection, operation and manage- 
ment of the normal schools of the state. After being considered 
by the various committees and both branches of the legislature, 
this bill, under which the normal schools of North Dakota have 
since worked, was approved March 7, 1892. About the same 
time Senator Joel S. Weiser introduced in the senate a bill pro- 
viding $5,000 for the Valley City Normal School. This passed 
and was approved March 2, 1891, and furnished means whereby 
Principal J. W. Sifton was able to open the school in rented 
quarters in the fall of that year, when a school session of nine 
months was held. 

In 1897 the diploma of the normal school was made a county 
certificate of the first grade ; after two years ' experience, a state 
normal certificate ; and after three years ' experience, a life pro- 
fessional certificate. By an act of 1905 the law regarding diplomas 
was slightly changed, making the diploma a state certificate of 
the second class, good for three years, and then permitting the 
issue of a life professional certificate when the holder thereof 
has been successful. Another slight amendment to the normal 
school law was made in 1901, when the members of the Board 
of Management, heretofore acting without pay, were granted $3 
per day in addition to their necessary expenses. 

The effort to maintain all of its institutions had cost the 
young state a tremendous struggle. Every possible method of 
relieving the situation was considered; finally, in 1901 the school 
was by definite act made a part of the public school system and 
an especial annual levy of a one mill tax on each dollar of the 
assessed valuation of the property of the state was authorized 
in support of the state educational institutions, and the income 
from 12-100 of this mill tax was assigned to the Valley City 
State Normal School. Also, 10,000 acres of the government grant 
to normal schools was ordered sold in order to produce an in- 
come for the schools from this source. This legislation was 
really constructive and placed the educational institutions of 
the state, the normal school at Valley City included, on a firmer 


basis, and here began what might be called the era of expansion 
of the normal schools. They were relieved from the anxieties of 
annual appropriations and, the prosperity of the state increasing 
rapidly, the value of their land, of course, increased pro rata and 
soon began to produce a handsome income. 

But funds from both these sources were for maintenance. 
The school must have buildings, equipment and improvements. 
Its students were increasing rapidly in numbers and the demand 
for a broader form of work required greater facilities. In 1903 
an act was passed authorizing the institution to bond its lands 
for the purpose of securing an additional building for school 
work and a dormitory. When these buildings were well under 
way, the state treasurer, Hon. Dan McMillan, declined to 
pay out money on the account of the board of university and 
school lands, to whom the bonds had been sold, and the ques- 
tion was thrown into the Supreme Court, which decided that 
the bonds were illegal. The emergency board of the state came 
to the rescue with an appropriation of $20,420, and the balance 
of the debt incurred by the erection of the two buildings was 
carried over to the next legislature. Since that time, however, 
definite appropriations have been made for the erection of 

The Building Record. 

As indicated above, the school began its career in a room 
rented from the public school in the fall of 1890. Scarcely more 
than a half dozen were present the first day, nearly all of whom 
were from Valley City families. Several of these, however, 
graduated from the normal school, and have been teachers in 
the state for many years. The second year, October 13, 1891, 
the school re-opened under the principalship of Rev. J. "VV. Sifton, 
in quarters rented for the purpose in a building which afterwards 
was occupied by the Salvation Army, and more recently by the 
Valley City Bottling Works. The rooms, however, were com- 
fortable and well adapted to the use of the school. Meantime, 
Prof. John Ogden had become superintendent of public instruc- 
tion and had taken a great interest in the development of the 
state's normal schools. Emma F. Bates, also previously con- 


nected with the Territorial Normal School at Milnor, had been 
brought over to Valley City at the suggestion of Mr. Ogden to 
assist Principal Sifton. The school showed considerable growth, 
and by the 1st of January, 1892, Lura L. Perrine, then teacher 
at Oakes, was brought to the school as a regular teacher, and 
Mr. M. W. Barnes, a teacher in Barnes county, having special 
qualifications for the teaching of penmanship, came to the school 
twice each week during the winter term to give lessons in pen- 
manship. A bill having passed authorizing an issue of bonds to 
the amount of $20,000 for building purposes, a site was secured 
in the south part of the city and the erection of a building begun. 
The usual struggle incident to the location of a public institu- 
tion in a Western city had been experienced. Three members 
of the board were residents of Valley City, each the partisan of 
a different site; it therefore devolved upon the non-resident 
members, Hon. J. W. Goodrich, of Jamestown, and Thomas 
Elliott, of Elliott, to determine the location of the building. At 
first there was much opposition to the location chosen, but no 
one now outside or inside of Valley City Would have it changed. 
A commodious building, costing about $25,000, was completed 
on the 6th of December, 1892. Little was done for many years 
to add to this building. The state was now passing through an 
era of hard times. In 1895 Gov. Roger Allen vetoed appropria- 
tions for the support of the school with the exception of $4,600, 
enough to provide a custodian of the building and keep it warm 
for winter. No building was undertaken until 1903, when the 
west wing, or Science hall, was erected and the dormitory under- 
taken. Meantime, however, the board had purchased a large resi- 
dence in the southwestern part of the city, known as the Olsby 
house, with seven acres of land, and had started a dormitory in a 
small way. In 1905 another appropriation was secured for the 
Model school, which is now known as the East wing, and in 1907 a 
further appropriation for the erection of an auditorium. Thus, 
in the space of five years, three great buildings have been added 
to the original plant for school purposes and two dormitories 

The original site comprised ten or eleven acres at the very 
edge of the city. This site has been increased by the purchase 


of the seven acres above referred to for dormitory purposes, two 
lots on the east of the grounds and fronting on Sunnyside ave- 
nue, thirteen acres to the southeast of the main grounds and 
twenty-five acres extending across the entire quarter section and 
lying south of the grounds. 

The School and Its Work. 

As revealed by the foregoing, Rev. J. W. Sifton was the first 
principal, through a short term beginning in 1890 and through 
part of the year beginning 1891. In April, 1892, he resigned, 
leaving the school in the hands of Emma F. Bates and Lura L. 
Perrine. The board now began to look for his successor and 
attention was attracted to Prof. George A. McFarland, of the 
State Normal School at Madison, S. D., who had been a member 
of the territorial board of education, 1887 to 1889, and was well 
known by the educators of both sections of the territory. He 
was written to and came on for a conference with the board of 
management in May, 1892, was engaged and assumed the duties 
of principal the 1st of August of that year. The school opened 
its third session on the 28th of September, 1892, with twenty- 
eight students present. The principal was assisted by Emma F. 
Bates, Lura L. Perrine, M. W. Barnes and Amanda Harmon, who 
conducted a kindergarten, the latter partly independent and 
partly under the auspices of the normal school. On December 
6 of that year the new building was occupied. The dedication 
was a great public event. The governor, most of his advisers, 
and other public officials, prominent educators and others were 
present and gave addresses. 

In 1893 the school re-opened, and the catalogue shows a fac- 
ulty of nine, among whom are Elsie Hadley, instructor of mathe- 
matics, afterwards well known to the state as Mrs. Frank White. 
At the end of this year the first class was graduated, and con- 
sisted of three students : Maud Bronson, of Jamestown ; Lenora 
Arestad, of Cooperstown; and Jennie F. MacNider, of Bismarck. 

In 1894 the names of Joseph Schafer and Cora M. Rawlins 
appeared on the faculty roll for the first time. Mr. Schafer was 
afterwards a candidate for superintendent of public instruction, 
and Miss Rawlins, after thirteen years, is again a member of the 



faculty. At the end of that year a class of eleven was gradu- 
ated, one of wjiom is Miss Alice J. Fisher, at present a critic in 
the primary department, and another Miss Ellen Matteson, county 
superintendent of Eddy county. This was the largest class to 
graduate until June, 1902. In 1896 there were five; in 1897, 
nine; in 1898, one; in 1899, four; in 1901, ten; in 1902, eighteen; 
in 1903, thirty-three ; in 1904, thirty-three ; in 1905, forty-eight ; 
in 1906, sixty-nine ; and in 1907, eighty-nine. The rapid growth 
in the number of students and graduates is, undoubtedly, due 
to the fact that early graduates were thoroughly qualified for 
the positions they accepted and demonstrated in their work the 
value of the institution. Many of these students have since risen 
to eminence. In the class of 1896, for instance, were several 
who were in the school the day it opened. Several of them have 
taught successfully, since graduation, in the schools of Valley 
City. In 1897 the class included Mr. E. R. Brownson, for several 
years superintendent of schools at Williston, later county super- 
intendent of the schools of that county, and more recently a 
leading business man of Williston and a member of the board of 
management of the state normal school at Valley City. Mr. 
Christian Westergaard is the only member of the class of 1898. 
He is at present occupying a position as instructor of farm me- 
chanics in the University of California, and lecturer before the 
farmers' institute of that state. To name others individually 
would lead to details not intended in this article, and for which 
there is no space. 

In the fall of 1899 the faculty was increased from eight to 
ten ; in 1901, to eleven ; in 1902, to fourteen ; in 1903, to sixteen ; 
in 1904, to eighteen; in 1905, to twenty-five; until at the present 
time the total number of teachers employed is thirty-one, the 
student body having increased, within the memory of the present 
president, from five, on the 25th day of May, 1892, to 537 in 
February, 1908, in the normal department. Including the model 
school, the summer school, and other departments of its work, 
the school serves over one thousand people each year. Its gradu- 
ates are found in all parts of our state and many have found 
profitable employment in other states. 

Its income has increased from $5,000 for the first and second 


years of its existence to about $50,000 a year, and yet, with this 
marvelous growth in financial support, building and equipment, 
it has not been able to keep pace with the demands made upon 
it by the young people of the state for a proper vocational 

State School of Science. . 
(Academy of Science.) 

Among the educational institutions located by the constitu- 
tion was "a scientific school or such other educational or chari- 
table institution as the legislative assembly may prescribe at 
the City of Wahpeton, County of Richland, with a grant of 
40,000 acres of land." In accordance with this provision of the 
constitution, the legislative session of 1903 established a state 
school of science with location at Wahpeton. The school was 
organized and formally opened for the reception of students in 
rented rooms in the building owned and occupied by the Red 
River Valley University in September, 1903. Prof. Earle C. 
Burch, teacher of science in the Fargo high school, was elected 
the first president. Upon the removal of the Red River Valley 
University to Grand Forks in 1905, the Academy of Science 
purchased its building, an appropriation being made for this 
purpose by the legislative assembly. In addition to this building, 
there was erected, in the summer of 1905, a commodious and 
substantial one-story building of cement blocks, 30x70 feet in 
dimensions, for the accommodation of the department of mechan- 
ical engineering. In it are located the machinery, wood and 
forge shops. A commodious building to be used as a gymnasium 
was erected in the summer of 1907. 

The early appropriations to the school for maintenance were 
meagre, but upon the passage of the so-called Purcell bill (1907) 
providing for a redistribution of the mill tax, the Academy of 
Science was admitted to a participation in the benefits of the 
tax and was given 4/100 of a mill as its share. The legislative 
assembly of 1907 also more specifically defined the scope of the 
school in the following terms : 

"The North Dakota Academy of Science, heretofore estab- 
lished at Wahpeton, is hereby continued as such. The object of 


the academy shall be to furnish (such) instruction in the pure 
and applied sciences, mathematics, languages, political science 
and history as is usually given in schools of technology below the 
junior year, the chief object being the training of skilled work- 
men in the most practical phases of applied science. A general 
science course may also be offered consisting of three years ' work 
above the high school course. Upon the completion of either of 
the above courses, the board of trustees may grant appropriate 
certificates of the work accomplished." 

The Academy of Science offers three-year courses in general 
science and two-year courses in mechanical, electrical and civil 
engineering, and offers in addition a preparatory course of three 
years and a commercial course. During the school year of 
1906-7 the faculty of the school numbered eight members and 
seventy-eight students were enrolled, exclusive of 110 enrolled 
in the summer school. 

Fargo College. 

Fargo College has its source in an idea. That idea is the 
necessity of the Christian college for the perpetuity of our free 
institutions and democratic form of government. In fulfillment 
of this idea, the first "General Association of Congregational 
Churches" meeting at Fargo, October 18, 1882, adopted a reso- 
lution appointing a committee to take steps toward founding 
Christian academies in the territory. At the next meeting 
$1,400.00 was pledged for the founding of a Christian college. At 
each subsequent meeting the matter was considered, and in July, 
1887, the association accepted the invitation of the citizens of 
Fargo to locate there. In the same month the college committee 
of the association united with them certain others who became 
the original board of incorporators, by whom, and from whose 
number, the Board of Trustees are chosen. The certificate of 
incorporation was issued by the secretary of the territory March 
28, 1888. 

In the fall of 1887, Professor F. T. Waters was engaged as 
principal, and about October 1 Fargo College began its work 
with a few scholars in the McLauch block on Eighth street. The 
first student was a red-headed young man, later county superin- 


tendent, from the western part of the state. The college has had 
four presidents previous to its present leader. The first was 
Rev. G. B. Barnes, who was elected in November, 1888. He was 
succeeded by Dr. R. A. Beard, now pastor of the First Congre- 
gational Church of Fargo, whose term began September 1, 1892. 
Rev. H. C. Simmons, then superintendent of home missions, was 
elected July 28, 1894, and died suddenly December 21, 1899. Rev. 
J. H. Morley began his term February 1, 1900, and his resignation 
took effect January 1, 1906. President Vittum began his work 
early in January of 1907. 

The first principal, as stated above, was F. T. Waters. He 
remained until the spring of 1891 and seems to have been suc- 
ceeded by Professor Burdick. In September, 1892, A. D. Hall 
became principal and was succeeded in the summer of the fol- 
lowing year by Professor E. T. Curtis, who served the college 
until September, 1895, when W. A. Deering came with the title of 
dean and remained until September, 1897. P. G. Knowlton then 
became dean and held the position until the fall of 1904, when 
Professor H. W. Fiske succeeded him. Dr. F. E. Stratton began 
his work as dean in the fall of 1906. 

Miss L. Belle Haven was the first preceptress. Miss Sheldon, 
now wife of Professor Bolley, of the Agricultural College, came 
in 1893. Miss Annie Adams was dean of women from the fall of 
1897 until the summer of 1902, and was succeeded by Miss 
Jennette E. Marsh, who remained two years, as did her successor, 
Miss Alice N. Baldwin. The present head of the women's 
department, Miss Margery J. Moore, assumed the office in 
September, 1906. 

After remaining in the rented rooms on Eighth street for a 
short time, the work was carried on in what was then called the 
Garfield block on Ninth street, near the Methodist church, until 
the college entered its present home in Jones Hall in the spring 
of 1890. Jones Hall was made possible by the gifts of Mr. James 
Gould and his sister, Mrs. Bassett, who became interested in the 
college through the efforts of Rev. Mr. Phillips, now at James- 
town. It was named in memory of their brother-in-law, George H. 
Jones, and cost about $35,000. It was dedicated October 7, 1890. 

Dill Hall, named in honor of its largest giver, contains the 

n o 

O ffi 


gymnasium, Y. M. C. A. room, several lecture and recitation 
rooms and the science laboratories. It was first occupied in 
January, 1908. 

Provision was made for the study of music from the beginning, 
and Professor E. A. Smith was in charge of that department 
until the close of the year 1899-1900. His plans for a conservatory 
were carried out by Professor J. C. Penniman, who remained until 
the close of the college year, 1894-95, when he was succeeded by 
Professor George, who is still in charge. 

A business department was organized in September, 1891, 
and was continued until the year 1900, when it was made an 
integral part of the regular work of the college. 

In November, 1894, Dr. D. K. Pearsons, of Chicago, offered to 
give $50,000 toward the permanent endowment of the college on 
condition that $150,000 additional be raised by the college, 
authorities. President Simmons took up the work of raising the 
money at once and labored most earnestly for its completion until 
his death in December, 1899. Not until the close of 1902, under 
his successor, President Morley, was the condition met. On the 
evening of January 11, 1903, was held the banquet to celebrate 
the completion of the first permanent endowment fund of $200,000. 

The first class graduated from the college in June, 1896, and 
numbered three, Miss Curtis, Donald G. Golo and James Mullen- 
bach. According to the catalogue of 1890-91, the college enrolled 
two freshmen, twenty preparatory students and forty-one English 
students. In all thirty-three students have graduated from the 
regular college course. The first permanent regular faculty was 
engaged in the fall of 1889. The following embodies the faculty 
pages of the catalogue of 1890-91: 

"Third annual catalogue. President, Rev. G. B. Barnes, pro- 
fessor of mental and moral philosophy. F. T. Waters, principal, 
and professor of Latin language and literature, English literature 
and kindred branches. Rev. G. S. Bascom, professor of Greek 
language and literature. Worollo Whitney, professor of mathe- 
matics, political economy, and the natural sciences. Bertha 
Hebard, principal of ladies' department, professor of modern 
languages, rhetoric and history. E. A. Smith, director of conserv- 


atory of music, teacher of piano and harmony." Surely "There 
were giants in those days." 

In January, 1907, Edward March Vittum, D.D., was elected 
to the presidency. President Vittum is a graduate (B.A. and 
M.A.) of Dartmouth College and (B.D.) of Yale University. He 
has occupied a number of pastorates in the Congregational church 
in Connecticut and Iowa, his last pastorate being at Grinnell 
College, Grinnell, Iowa. 

The instructional force of the college numbers (1908) twenty 
members, and the student enrollment 310, of whom forty-six are 
enrolled in the college, sixty-eight in the preparatory department 
and the remainder in the conservatory of music. The graduates 
in 1907 numbered nine, all taking the A.B. degree. 

Wesley College. 

Among the first questions that concerned the pioneer Meth- 
odists of North Dakota was that of education. The Red River 
Institute had been located at Fargo in the early eighties though 
it was never formally opened and this institution received the 
endorsement of the Mission Conference at its first session in 1884 
and again in the succeeding year. The North Dakota Annual 
Conference, in its first session, held in 1886, and again in 1887, 
earnestly advocated the need of an institution of higher learning, 
and this action was heartily supported by the Lay Electoral 

Each year the matter was brought up and in 1890 a committee 
was appointed and directed to act "under certain conditions and 
within a fixed time." The project took definite form in the 
following resolution: 

"Resolved, 1, That the committee chosen to locate a college in 
the North Dakota Conference, shall give every place the oppor- 
tunity of making a new bid or increasing a bid already made, 
and that on the 20th of January, 1891, all bids shall be in and no 
bid shall be received thereafter, and not later than March 1, 1891, 
the committee shall decide as to which bid they will accept, and 
that no bid shall be accepted of less than eighty acres of land, 
or its equivalent, and $10,000 in money. 

"Resolved, 2, That the committee shall consist of the presid- 


ing elders and one member and one layman from each district, 
with the bishop residing at Minneapolis ex-officio chairman, and 
that the bishop and his cabinet be requested to present nomina- 
tions for the balance of the committee at the closing session of 
the conference." 

The articles of incorporation bear the date February 25, 1891, 
and the institution was named "The Red River Valley 
University. ' ' 

As the city of Wahpeton had offered a tract of eighty acres 
valued at $4,000, and a cash donation of $21,000, including 
$10,000 from a Chicago friend, Mr. J. Q. Adams, that city was 
selected as the site of the future institution. Rev. J. N. Fraden- 
burgh, Ph. D., D.D., was elected the first president of the college, 
and under his administration the work of building was begun, 
the foundation being completed June 25, 1891. In this same year 
a faculty of four teachers was selected to carry on the work of 
instruction. The heroism of devotion of these friends of the 
struggling school, in the interests of the future commonwealth, 
deserves the highest praise and even veneration. No complete 
list could be given here, but, among others, the early records 
often mention such names as Larimore, Lynch, White, French, 
Adams, Plannette, and others worthy of mention, and many 
smaller gifts and services are equally precious in that they reveal 
the spirit and will of the citizens of the state. Their sacrifices 
and high ideals remind us of the doughty Hollanders who, offered 
exemption from heavy debts or the gift of a university, chose the 

In June, 1892, Dr. Fradenburgh felt it his duty to accept a 
call to another field and Rev. M. V. B. Knox, D.D., was chosen 
to succeed him. In the following October the college was for- 
mally opened and wor was begun. Rev. D. C. Plannette, who 
from the first had aided the work, accepted an appointment as 
financial agent and began again a systematic canvass of the 
state. The records show a gift of $500 from far-away Rhode 
Island. This first year the attendance aggregated eighty, rising 
the next year to 115, and 120 in the year following. 

In 1900 Rev. E. P. Robertson, A.M., D.D., was called to the 
presidency. Under his leadership more money was raised, debts 


were paid, the plant improved, and the enrollment was increased. 
In 1904-05 the attendance was 284, classified as follows: 

College, 18; academy, 57; commercial, 49; music, 160. 
Total, 284. 

About this time President Merrifield, of the University of 
North Dakota, in an address before the annual conference in 
session in Grand Forks, March, 1900, discussed the university- 
college affiliation idea, and at the close extended to the Methodist 
church of the state an invitation to move their college to a loca- 
tion adjoining the State University and to make such use of the 
facilities of the State University as might seem feasible. Moral 
obligations to certain benefactors and to the citizens of Wahpeton 
prevented action at the time, but in 1904, after some twelve 
years of successful work, the officials and friends of the university 
began to consider the advisability of accepting the overtures of 
the State University to remove its location to Grand Forks. The 
reasons for such action were: (1) The strength of the denomina- 
tion in the northern and western parts of the state ; (2) Unlike 
the older states, North Dakota was still sparsely settled, and 
multiplicity of institutions seemed unnecessary; (3) As the mem- 
bers of the denomination, in common with other citizens of the 
state, contribute to the support of the State University, it seemed 
wise to make use of the facilities thus afforded; (4) Though suc- 
cess had been achieved, it seemed to the patrons of the school 
that in the new location, under new conditions, the same expendi- 
ture of effort would be productive of larger results; (5) By con- 
centration of energies, the college could render to the church a 
larger service in this new field, which was more centrally located, 
and in a section where a large Methodist population was to be 
found. In January, 1905, the heads of the two institutions met, 
and, after deliberation, came to an agreement on the now historic 
memorandum which has become the basis of cooperation : 

Whereas, the State University is in theory the university of 
all the people of the state, and is supported by the taxes of the 
members of the several denominations as well as by the other 
citizens of the state, it would seem to be appropriate and fitting 
that the churches of the several denominations in the state should 
avail themselves of the privileges which belong to their members 


as citizens of the state and should use, to whatever extent may 
seem desirable in the conduct of their educational work, the 
facilities afforded by the State University. 

It is recognized that the State University is a civic institution 
and has for its mission the training of the youth of the state for 
efficient service as citizens. It is recognized, also, that the dis- 
tinctive object of the church in maintaining schools of its own is 
to insure trained leadership in religious and denominational work. 
There is, therefore, logically no conflict between their respective 
missions, for the same young people are to serve in both these 
capacities. These two missions being in no sense antagonistic, 
but supplementary, it would seem the part of wise economy that 
these two educational agencies should avail themselves, so far as 
possible, of the facilities and appliances of each other in the 
working out of their respective missions, keeping always in view 
the principle of the separation of the church and state in so far 
as regards the control and expenditure of the financial resources 
of each. 

Accepting the foregoing principles as fundamentally sound, 
the University of North Dakota cordially invites the people of the 
various denominations of the state to the consideration of a 
plan under which the members of the several denominations, 
while preserving their denominational identity and maintaining 
separate institutions for such educational work as they may deem 
necessary, shall join, as citizens, in patronage of the State Uni- 
versity as the common agency for the higher education of the 
youth of the state. 

As a basis of cooperation between the State University and 
the Methodist church of the state, the following suggestions seem 
practicable : 

1. That the Methodist church change the name of its insti- 
tution from Red River Valley University to Wesley College. 

2. That a building or buildings be erected in near proximity 
to the State University but on a separate campus to include a 
guild hall, such recitation rooms as may be required for the work 
proposed, possibly dormitories for young men and young women, 
and a president's house. 

3. That the course of study may be : 


(a) Bible and church history, English Bible, New 
Testament Greek, Hebrew, Theism, and such other subjects as 
the college may elect in pursuance of its purpose. 

(b) A brief course that may be designated as a Bible 
normal course, intended especially to fit students to become 
efficient Sunday school teachers and lay workers, and upon the 
completing of which certificates of recognition may be granted. 

(c) Instruction in music and elocution may be given 
if desired and appropriate certificates granted. 

(d) Guild hall lectures. 

4. That the State University grant for work done in subjects 
included under (a) above, such credit toward the B.A. degree as 
it gives to technical work done in its own professional schools 
and to work done in other colleges of reputable standing. Like- 
wise, Wesley College shall give credit for work done in the State 
University in similar manner as preparation for any degree or 
certificate it may offer. 

5. Each institution shall have full control of the discipline 
of students upon its own grounds. 

6. It shall be deemed proper for students to take degrees 
from both institutions if they so desire. 

University, N. D., Jan. 9, 1905. 

The year 1905-06 was spent in securing additional funds. As 
the citizens of Wahpeton had given a considerable share toward 
the founding of the school, it was felt that this property should 
be disposed of to the advantage of the city of Wahpeton. 
Accordingly the land with the building, estimated at $45,000, 
was transferred to the State Science School, located in the same 
city, for the sum of $20,000, the balance, $25,000. being pledged 
by the city of Grand Forks. 

In the fall of 1906 work was resumed under the educational 
name of Wesley College, though for business purposes the old 
corporation name, "Red River Valley University," is retained. 
The lines of activity developed are precisely those laid down in 
the memorandum : 


1. The purpose of the instruction given in Wesley College 
School of Arts is to provide, in cooperation with the University 
of North Dakota, courses that may be counted toward the degree 
of Bachelor of Arts. This will include such courses as, though 
properly arts courses, are not offered in the university itself. 

The requirements of the degree in arts are equivalent to 
those of the University of North Dakota and meet the standards 
established by the university senate of the Methodist Episcopal 

Candidates for a degree from Wesley College may elect work 
in either the university or Wesley College, provided that the 
options from the college equal at least eight units toward the 
total number of units necessary for the degree. In like manner 
the university accepts credits from Wesley College equivalent to 
one year's full work. 

2. It is the purpose of the School of Music to maintain high 
standards of instruction, and in the interests of higher musical 
education to make the cost as low as in any conservatory offering 
work of equally high grade. It is the desire of the management 
to bring the advantages of the school within the reach of the 
largest possible number of deserving students. It is not the pur- 
pose of the school to secure a large attendance for the sake of 
numbers only, but to work for artistic development in those who 
give evidence of musical talent. Regarding music not as a mere 
accomplishment, but as a serious study deserving a high place 
in the public esteem, the trustees and faculty of Wesley College 
propose to give the people of the Northwest an opportunity for 
conservatory training of a high order. 

3. It is the purpose of the Bible Normal School to provide 
opportunity for persons engaged in church and other forms of 
religious work, who, though not planning to take a college course, 
are desirous of making further preparation. The courses offered 
below will, it is believed, furnish such equipment. They must not 
be confounded with the courses in Wesley College leading to an 
academic degree. 

4. The Wesley guild has been formed in order to effect a 
closer fellowship among the Methodist students of the university 
and Wesley College and to cultivate a more intelligent apprecia- 


tion of the principles of the church. From time to time distin- 
guished representatives of the denomination are the guests of the 
guild that the young people may have an opportunity to meet 
and become acquainted with the leaders of the' church and to 
learn first-hand what the denomination stands for. 

5. The tenth month of the academic year is to be devoted 
to institute work throughout the state, at such points and for 
such periods as may seem wise. 

When a student has passed the stated requirements for college 
graduation he is granted the degree of Bachelor of Arts by 
Wesley College provided he has at least eight full credits taken 
in Wesley College. Such students may also be a graduate of the 
State University provided he has met the requirements. In that 
case he may graduate from both institutions without additional 
cost of time. It is clear that Wesley College enjoys no rights 
in relation with the State University that are not equally open 
to all other colleges that may choose to become associated on the 
same plan. 

No tuition fee is charged in either the State University or 
School of Arts of Wesley College. This is an important consid- 
eration for the average student when choosing a college. Here, 
in one opportunity, is offered the best that state and church can 
provide in their respective fields of instruction, and offered free 
excepting a small registration fee. 

The attendance the first year was 124, as follows (the Acad- 
emy and School of Business being discontinued to avoid duplicat- 
ing the work of the State University) : Arts (college), 21; music, 
106; (duplicates, 3). 

The accepted plans of the architect provide for a group of 
nine buildings so connected or related as to form three sides of 
a quadrangle, open toward the university campus on the south. 
The first building, Sayre Hall, so named in honor of the chief 
donor, Mr. A. J. Sayre, a member of the board of trustees, and 
a staunch friend of the college, was occupied in September, 1908. 
It is a four-story structure of reinforced concrete, fire-proof, with 
modern equipment, steam heat, electric lights, hot and cold water 
in every suite, and lavatory on every floor. 

Thus has been inaugurated, after years of devoted effort, a 


r K 

H W 

g 5 


movement destined, as leading educators are free to say, to 
become one of the most significant and far-reaching of the 


The writer makes acknowledgment to The Agassiz, published 
by the junior class of the Agricultural College; to President 
Thomas A. Hillyer, of the State Normal School at Mayville; to 
President George A. McFarland, of the State Normal School at 
Valley City ; to Dr. P. G. Knowlton, of Fargo College, and to Dr. 
Wallace N. Stearns, of Wesley College, for valuable information 
contained in this chapter. The portions of the chapter relating 
to the Mayville Normal School, the Valley City Normal School, 
Fargo College, and Wesley College, are printed substantially in 
the form in which they were prepared by Messrs. Hillyer, 
McFarland, Knowlton and Stearns, respectively. President 
McFarland also wrote the matter which appears under the head 
of " State Normal Schools." 


A Trip to the Black Hills by Ox Cart. Yung Bear's Ox Cart 
Transportation by Sledge, Travoise, and Cart. 

The well-known ox cart of the Eed Eiver Valley first came 
into use at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The journal 
of Alexander Henry when speaking of this vehicle says : ' ' Very 
little if anything is known of the Eed Eiver country between 
1799-1809, the period immediately prior to the establishing of 
the colony of Lord Selkirk. 

In September, 1801, Henry sent out a party of men under 
John Cameron to Grand Forks to establish a trading post, and 
writes: "None of my neighbors have a horse; all their trans- 
portation is on their men's backs." At the time the original 
Eed Eiver cart makes its advent, the record again says: "Men 
now go again for meat with some small low carts, the wheels of 
which are of one solid piece sawed from the ends of trees whose 
diameter is three feet. These carriages we find are more con- 
venient and advantageous than to load our horses on the back, 
and the country being so smoothe and level we can make use of 
them to go in all directions." A year later the writer gives us 
a description of a cart somewhat in advance of the original one, 
but yet not exactly like the one now in the museum at Bismarck : 
"We require horses to transport the property, of which we now 
have a sufficient number for all purposes, 'and a new sort of a 
cart.' They are about four feet high and perfectly straight, the 
spokes being placed perpendicularly without the least bending 
outwards, and only four in each wheel. These carts will carry 
about five pieces, and all drawn by one horse." 



The following description of Yung Red Bear's cart and har- 
ness, which was loaned to the State Historical Society by C. W. 
Andrews of Walhalla, is taken from the Fargo Forum, October 4, 
1907. It says : 

"A number of years ago the government began to give to the 
Indians an iron-tired cart and Mr. Andrews knew that it was 
only a question of time when the famous Red River cart would 
be a thing of the past. So he asked his brother to drive across the 
country to the Turtle mountains and pick up one of the old carts. 
He bought this cart of Yung Red Bear, who said his father made 
it in 1848. The harness, which is equally valuable as a relic, is 
sewed with sinew and was made in 1869. The cart has made a 
number of trips to St. Cloud, Minn., and the Turtle Mountains. 

"These carts were the freighters of the pre-locomotive days 
and were a common sight in this great northwest. They were made 
wholly of wood without a scrap of iron or steel. The ax and the 
augur were the only tools used in its construction and with the 
aid of rawhide any break could be mended at once. The old 
settlers tell us that it was a common sight to see hundreds of these 
in a train wending their way across the prairie. The cart could 
hold about 1,000 pounds of freight, but generally a much lighter 
load was carried. One characteristic which the old settler never 
fails to mention is the piercing squeak of the cart wheels. This 
noise could be heard for miles and this inborn mark was never 
eliminated. The question is asked many times why these carts 
disappeared so suddenly from us and the answer generally given 
by the old settler is that they were used to build some campfire or 
heat some cabin." 

A Trip to the Black Hills for Gold by Ox Cart. 

On February 4, 1876, a party from Grand Forks made a trip 
to the Black Hills in ox carts in search of gold. They left Grand 
Forks, February 4, and reached their destination about the 
middle of April, going by the way of Bismarck. The party con- 
sisted of D. M. Holmes, William Budge, J. S. Eshelman, George 
Fadden, Thomas Hall, Peter Girard, W. C. Myrck, James Mul- 
ligan, James Williams, A. F. McKinley and Al Wright. They had 
five teams and made the journey in good shape, traveling a dis- 


tance of about 500 miles. After a stay of two or three months 
some of the party came back and some of them are there yet. 
The Grand Forks party received quite an addition to their number 
when they reached Bismarck, there being now besides ox carts, 
horses, and a drove of cattle, about fifty persons in all. Owing 
to heavy rains and deep mud the journey became a tedious one 
and progress was so slow they often camped almost within sight 
of the fires made the night before. They had not a few bitter 
experiences with the Indians also. In an encounter with the red- 
skins at Big Meadow they lost several cattle, had one man killed, 
and two wounded. It was the rule of the party to keep a guard 
night and day, and so trying were the exactions of the journey, 
most of the goods became despoiled before they reached Dead- 
wood. One man started with 2,800 pounds for his load, but went 
into the city of his destination leading his horse and carrying the 
harness. In the mining business experiences varied. As a gen- 
eral thing more money was made at something else than by 
digging nuggets of gold. One old miner, however, struck it right. 
His name was Ward. He discovered a ledge which he sold for 
$25,000, but he stayed at the gaming table that night until he 
lost it all, not an unusual experience among miners in that day. 

In his journal, under date of October 3, 1802, Mr. Henry 
writes the following description of the first Red River cart train : 

"M. Langlois started for Hair Hills. This caravan demands 
notice to exhibit the vast difference it makes in a place where 
horses are introduced. It is true they are useful animals, but, if 
we had but one in the northwest we should have less laziness, for 
men would not be burdened with families, and so much given to 
indolence and insolence. * * * But let us now take a view of 
the bustle and noise which attends the present transportation of 
five pieces of goods. The men were up at the break of day, and 
their horses tackled long before sunrise, but they were not in 
readiness to move before 10 o'clock, when I had the curiosity to 
climb up to the top of my house to examine the movements and 
observe the order of march. Anthony Payet, guide and second 
in command, leads off with a cart drawn by two horses, and 
loaded with his own private baggage, bags and kettles. Madame 
Payet follows the cart with a child one year old on her back, 


and very merry. C. Bottineau, with two horses and a cart loaded 
with one and a half packs, his own baggage, two young children 
with kettles and other trash hanging to his cart. Madam Bot- 
tineau, with a young squalling child on her back, which she is 
scolding and tossing about. 

"Joseph Dubord goes on foot, with his long pipestem and 
calumet in his hand. Madam Dubord follows her husband carry- 
ing his tobacco pouch. 

"Anthony Thelliere, with a cart and two horses loaded with 
one and a half packs of goods and Dubord 's baggage. 

"Anthony LoPoint, with another cart and two horses loaded 
with two pieces of goods and baggage belonging to Brisbois, 
Jessemin and Poulliote, and a kettle suspended on each side. 
Jessemin goes next to Brisbois with gun, and pipe in mouth, 
puffing out clouds of smoke. Mr. Poulliote, the greatest smoker 
in the northwest, has nothing but pipes and pouch. These three 
fellows, having taken the farewell dram and lighting fresh pipes, 
go on, brisk and merry, playing numerous pranks. Don Liver- 
more, with a young mare, the property of M. Langlois, loaded 
with weeds for smoking, and an Indian bag. Madam's property, 
and some squashes and potatoes, and a keg of fresh water and 
two young whelps. 

"Next comes the young horse of Livermore, drawing a traville 
with his baggage, and a large worsted mashqueucate belonging 
to Madame Langlois. Next appears Madame Cameron's young 
mare, kicking and roaring, hauling a traville which was loaded 
with a bag of flour and some cabbage, turnips, onions, a small 
keg of water and a large bottle of broth. M. Langlois, who is 
master of the band, now comes, leading a horse that draws a 
traville nicely and covered with a new painted tent, under which 
is lying his daughter and Mrs. Cameron, extended full length 
and very sick. This covering or canopy has a very pretty effect. 
Madam Langlois now brings up the rear; following the traville 
with a slow step and melancholy air, attending to the wants of 
her daughter. The rear guard consisted of a long train of dogs, 
twenty in number. The whole forms a string nearly a mile long 
and appears like a large band of Assiniboines. " 


Mail, Passenger and Freight, by Dog Train, Ox Cart and Stage. 

Prior to 1800 the dog sledge was used chiefly in the Red 
River Valley in the winter and the travois in summer, as a means 
of transportation. The dog sledge was much like a toboggan 
flat-bottomed had a dashboard in front, and was wide enough 
to seat one person, and each sledge was drawn by three dogs. 
There were frequently as many as twenty-five sledges in a train. 
The dogs were held in check by a cord and responded to a motion 
of the whip or hand. They were fed a pound of pemmican once 
a day after the day's work had been done. A trained leader was 
worth $20. Their life of usefulness on the trains ran from eight 
to twelve years. A dog sledge would carry about 400 pounds. 
A gaily caparisoned sledge, neatly harnessed dogs covered with 
bells hurrying across the pathless, snowy wastes of the plains or 
over the ice, going at the rate of forty or more miles a day, was 
not an unusual sight in the Red River Valley. At night the 
party, with their sledges, camped in the shelter of a clump of 
trees or bushes and built their campfire, then each in his blankets, 
often joined by the favorite dog as a companion for heat, sought 
rest for the night, with the thermometer often forty degrees 
below zero. 

The travois was used by the early traders in the Far AVest 
for transporting burdens long distances. The travois spoken of 
by Captain Henry consisted of two stout poles fastened together 
over the back of the horse, with their lower ends dragging on the 
ground. It could be used for transporting about 400 pounds, 
or a woman and two or three children. The travois was the 
product of the needs of the prairie, and was an Indian mode of 
conveyance on land. 

Under the regime established by Governor Simpson, the great 
winter event at Red River was the leaving of the northwest 
packet about December 10th. By this agency every post in the 
northern department was reached by sledges and snow shoes. 
A box with the important missives was fastened on the back 
of the sledge. One packet ran from Fort Garry to Norway 
House, a distance of 350 miles. At this point another packet 
ran eastward to Hudson Bay, while still another ran from the 


Norway House up the Saskatchewan to the western and northern 

The runners on these packets underwent great exposures, 
but they were fleet and athletic and knew how to protect them- 
selves in storm and danger. The Red River cart made its appear- 
ance in 1801. The wheels were large, being five feet in diameter 
and three inches thick. The felloes were fastened to one another 
by tongues of wood; the hubs were thick and strong; every part 
of the vehicle being made of wood axles, wheels, even the truck 
pins no iron whatever being used. It was a two-wheeled 
vehicle, with a box frame tightened by wooden pegs and fastened 
by pegs poised on the axle. The price of a cart in Red River of 
old was two pounds. 

The carts were drawn by single ponies, or in some cases by 
stalwart oxen. These oxen were harnessed and wore a collar. 
Heavily freighted carts made a journey of about twenty miles a 
day. The Indian pony, with a load of 400 or 500 pounds behind 
him would go at a measured jog trot of fifty or sixty miles a 
day. A train of carts of great length was sometimes made to go 
upon long expeditions. A brigade consisting of ten carts was 
placed under the charge of three men. Five or six brigades were 
joined in one train, and this was placed under the charge of a 
guide, who was vested with great authority and rode horseback. 
At one time a train of 500 carts left St. Paul laden with goods 
for the Canadian Northwest. One of the most notable cart trails 
was that from Fort Garry to St. Paul, Minnesota. On the west 
side of the river the road was excellent, through Dakota territory 
for some 250 miles, and then, by crossing the Red River into 
Minnesota, the road led for 200 miles down to St. Paul. At the 
period when the Sioux Indians were in revolt and the massacre 
of the whites took place in 1862, this route was dangerous, and 
the road, though not so smooth and not so dry, was followed on 
the east side of the Red River. 

Every season about 300 carts, employing about 100 men, 
started from Fort Garry for St Paul, or in later times to St. 
Cloud. The visit of these bands coming with their wooden carts 
and harnessed oxen, bringing huge bales of precious furs, always 


awakened great interest. At Fort Garry was a wide camping 
ground for traders. It was a sight to be remembered to see some 
of those trains get started. Sometimes they lingered day after 
day before going. But finally, after much leavetaking, the great 
train would start. Then the hurry of women and children, the 
multitude of dogs, the balky horses, the restless ponies, as well 
as the gaily caparisoned ones, made that occasion a picturesque 
one ; and then the creaking of the wooden axles began, each cart 
contributing its share, that could be heard by those left behind 
until they had gotten a mile away. 

One time a train of 500 carts left St. Paul laden with goods 
for the Canadian Northwest. 

Following the travois and the Red River cart came the stage 
and the transportation companies. There was no mail route 
from North Dakota to Winnipeg then, or Fort Garry prior to 
1871. But in the spring of that year the stage route was extended 
from Georgetown to Winnipeg. Captain Russell Blakely, of St. 
Paul, having been given a contract to run a mail coach, ran the 
first stage into Winnipeg September 11, 1871. In 1878, a railroad 
having been built into Winnipeg, the stage and transportation 
company transferred its line to Bismarck. 


The Red River of the North is neither wide nor deep, but 
navigable from Wahpeton to its mouth. It is 186 miles from 
Wahpeton to the international boundary line, but the river is 
so crooked a boat travels nearly 400 miles in going that distance. 
At its ordinary stage the river at Wahpeton is 943 feet above sea 
level; the altitude of Lake Winnipeg is 710 feet, hence the falls 
of the navigable part of the river is 233 feet. The range between 
extreme high and low water is as follows: Wahpeton, 15 feet; 
Fargo, 32 feet ; Belmont, 50 feet ; Grand Forks, 44 feet ; Pembina, 
40 'feet, and at Winnipeg, 39 feet. The maximum point of 
extreme high water is at Belmont, because of the narrow channel 
of the river between high banks. The years in which extra- 
ordinary floods have occurred in Red River and been recorded 
are those of 1826, 1852, 1860, 1861, 1862 and 1897. 

Appropriations in the interests of navigation on the Red River 
were begun in 1876. The first boat on the Red River was the 
Anson Northrup. Originally it was the North Star and did 
service on the Mississippi river. It was bought by Anson 
Northrup, taken up the river and laid up at Crow Wing. In the 
winter of 1859 it was overhauled and lumber and machinery were 
transported across to Lafayette at the mouth of the Cheyenne. 
Thirty-four teams were employed in this hauling. When the 
work was completed the boat was launched and christened the 
Anson Northrup. On May 17, 1859, it left for Fort Garry, now 
Winnipeg, and arrived at the latter place June 5, 1859. After 
her return to Abercrombie with twenty passengers, Captain 
Blakely was coolly informed that as the boat had earned the 



bonus of $2,000, the amount offered by the Chamber of Commerce 
of St. Paul to the first boat to navigate those waters, they could 
buy it, as there was no money in running it. She was afterwards 
purchased by J. C. Burbank for the Minnesota Company. 

In 1898 Nicholas Huffman, one of the pioneer settlers of the 
Red River . Valley, read a paper at the old settlers meeting in 
which he said : 

"There was an old steamboat lying in the Minnesota river, 
six miles below Big Stone lake, which was intended to come over 
into the Red River in 1857. There was a big flood in the Minne- 
sota river and Captain John B. Davis thought he could run the 
Freighter for that was the name of the boat into the Red 
River, but the waters went down and the boat was left stranded. 
The boat was sold at sheriff's sale and was bought by J. C. 
Burbank, of the stage company. There was a Welshman left in 
charge of the boat, and here he stayed nearly four years away 
from wife and children, with nothing to eat only what he could 
hunt or fish. 

"In the fall of 1860 we took a lot of teams, wagons and tools, 
under orders from Burbank, and took the boat to pieces and 
brought it to Georgetown. We found the boat and the little 
Welshman all right. His hair had over three years' growth and 
his whiskers were long. You may be sure his clothes were not 
of the latest fashion or in first-class condition. Coffee sacks, 
window curtains, etc., had been used to keep him covered. We 
divided up our clothes with him, but they were not good fits, as 
he was so small. 

"A second trip was necessary for the machinery. There were 
two big boilers, but we brought them safely to Georgetown, where 
the boat was rebuilt. We did not reach Georgetown till after 
Christmas with the last load, and the weather was very cold. 
The water was bad and the men suffered a great deal." 

The Minnesota Company mentioned above was the result of 
the mail contract letting in 1858, and was organized by J. C. 
Burbank, Russell Blakely and others. They had the contracts 
for carrying the mail from St. Paul to Fort Abercrombie and 
other northwestern points. They proposed to open roads and put 


on stages to run from St. Cloud via Cold Springs, New Munich, 
Melrose, Winnebago Crossing, Sauk Rapids, Mendota, Osakis, 
Alexandria, Dayton and Breckenridge, to Fort Abercrombie. 
The party left St. Cloud in June, 1859, to open this route. Accom- 
panying the expedition, besides teamsters, bridge builders, station 
keepers and laborers, were Misses Elenora and Christiana Sterling, 
from Scotland; Sir Francis Sykes and others. Northrup having 
refused to operate the steamboat, those bound for the north, 
including the baronet and the ladies, caused to be built a flatboat 
at Abercrombie, and they went down the river in it to Fort 
Garry. George "W. Northrup was in charge of this, one of the 
first boats of the Red River. 

Captain Alexander Griggs, the "Father of Grand Forks," 
was engaged in navigation throughout the Red River district, 
and was identified with the financial growth of the city of Grand 
Forks and vicinity. 

He was born at Marietta, Ohio, in October, 1838, and was a 
son of William and Esther (McGibbon) Griggs. He removed 
with his parents to St. Paul, Minn., when a boy, and later his 
family removed to Grand Forks, where his parents died. He was 
reared and educated in St. Paul, and at an early age began 
running on the boats of the Mississippi river, and at the age of 
twenty years was given command of a boat. He continued there 
until 1870, and then, in company with others, went up the Red 
River to Fargo with a view of establishing a line of boats, and 
during that year the Hill, Griggs & Company Navigation Com- 
pany was formed. In 1871 Mr. Griggs went to where Grand 
Forks is now located, and he entered a claim to the land on which 
the old town is located, and named the place Grank Forks on 
account of the junction of the two rivers. He continued to 
operate a line of boats between Grand Forks and Winnipeg for 
many years and continued in command until 1890. He was 
always active in the upbuilding of the town of Grand Forks, 
and was one of the founders of the Second National bank, of 
which institution we has president for many years. He also 
acted in the capacity of president of the First National bank of 
East Grand Forks for some years, and established the gas works 


in company with William Budge, and was also a large owner 
in the Grand Forks roller mill. He served as railroad commis- 
sioner for some years, and was the third postmaster of Grand 
Forks and was mayor of the city. He assisted in building the 
two bridges across the river, and by his hearty support and 
influence endeared himself to the people as a man of active 
public spirit. In December, 1892, Mr. Griggs left Grand Forks 
on account of failing health, and afterward engaged in boating 
on the Upper Columbia river. 

Captain Griggs married December 27, 1865, in Minnesota, to 
Miss Ettie I. Strong, a native of Brooklyn. Eight children, 
seven of whom are now living, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Griggs, named as follows : Lois, now Mrs. W. H. Pringle ; Ansel ; 
Jennie; Esther; Bruce; James and Clifford. Captain Griggs 
moved his family to the state of Washington, where he died. 

Captain Charles B. Thimens, at one time superintendent of 
the waterworks at Fargo, was an old steamboat captain on the 
Red River for many years. 

In the fall of 1851 Mr. Thimens landed in St. Paul, Minn., 
and soon began lumbering on the Rum river. Later he turned 
his attention to steamboating on the Mississippi and Minnesota 
rivers and followed that pursuit for thirty years, becoming pilot 
and captain, and also part owner of vessels for several years. 
For five years he was in the quartermaster's department during 
the Civil War, carrying troops and supplies up and down the 
river. In 1874 he went to Moorehead, Minn., and took charge of 
a boat for the Red River Transportation Company, running 
between Moorehead and Winnipeg, Manitoba, for fourteen years. 
He was next connected with the Grandin line of boats, carrying 
grain to Fargo and Moorehead, and remained with that company 
until 1893. In 1882 he took up his residence in Fargo, where he 
has since continued to make his home. 

Captain Thimens was in charge of the Freighter on the 
Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. This boat was sold to the 
Hudson Bay Company and her machinery was put into the 
International, built at Georgetown in 1860. The International 
was successfully run on the Red River for many years. In 1871 



the Selkirk was built at McCauleyville by Captain Alexander 
Griggs and James J. Hill. She was operated for general traffic, 
while the International had been operated by and for the Hudson 
Bay Company. In 1872 the two lines were consolidated and run 
under one management. The company was styled the Red River 
Transportation Company and they built the Cheyenne and Dakota 
at Grand Forks and the Alpha at McCauleyville. Captain M. 
L. McCormack was interested in the latter. In 1875 the mer- 
chants at Winnipeg built the Minnesota and Manitoba at Moore- 
head under the management of James Douglas, the old time 
Moorehead postmaster and merchant. One of them sunk and 
soon passed into the hands of the other company. As an oppo- 
sition line they were a failure. The next was the Grandin, built 
at Fargo, together with a line of barges which hauled wheat from 
the Grandin farm to the railroad at Fargo. The Alsip brothers 
built the Pluck on the Mississippi and brought her over on the 
cars from Brainerd, and in 1881 they built the Alsip. They also 
built a number of barges and boats and operated them from 
Fargo until 1885 or 1886. 

The valley of the Red River has been very fertile, supplying 
sufficient produce for freight on boats. During the years of steam- 
boating the whole of North Dakota was in one county Pembina. 
In the year 1871 the Selkirk and one barge did the whole business, 
which amounted to 150 tons. In the year 1874 they had 10,000 
tons. In the second year they employed three steamers instead 
of one, and in the fourth year seven steamboats and twenty 
barges. In 1882 the amount of freight that was shipped on the 
river from Pembina to Fargo was 63,303,673 pounds, while mil- 
lions of feet of logs were annually run down the river to Grand 

A Ballad of the Red. 

Patrick H. Donohue, of Grant Forks, an old riverman, has a 
decided talent for versification. The following ballad was com- 
posed by him and it will commend itself to the general reader by 
its pleasing jingle, and to the old timer by its allusions to scenes 
and incidents once familiar, but rapidly being forgotten : 


Now again 'tis lovely May, by the riverside I stray, 
And the song birds sing around and overhead, 
And I watch the river flow as I did long years ago 
When the Selkirk in her glory sailed the Red. 

As I watch the river flow, I think on the long ago 
When each pioneer was granted a homestead 
In the land so bright and new, in the land so fair to view 
In the valley of the famous River Red. 

Then the Selkirk in her prime, on the river made good time 

And her passengers admired her as she sped 

Through the valley bright and new, through the valley fair to 

On the bosom of the famous River Red. 

Fancy hears the tinkle ting of her bells as they would ring 
For to start or stop or back or come ahead, 

And the sounding of her gong, as they steamed her extra strong 
Through the waters of the famous River Red. 

And now it comes to mind, how each woodpile they would find 
And load up enough to keep her furnace fed 
As she sailed from side to side down or up the ruby tide 
Landing pioneer along the River Red. 

Men of fame and high renown, on the Selkirk then sailed down 
To find out its great resources they were led 
That they might see and write, of the fertile vale so bright, 
Lovely valley, flowery valley, River Red. 

Now to you I will relate, 'twas in Minnesota state 
That they built the Selkirk near the river bed. 
It was at McCauleyville, just below the old saw mill, 
That they built and launched the Selkirk on the Red. 

But the Selkirk is no more, for upon Dakota's shore 
She was wrecked and never more can come ahead. 


But some relics of her still lie near a murmuring rill 
In the willows by the famous River Red. 

She will never sail again, for the ice cut her in twain, 

And no more upon her decks can old friends tread 

As they trod in days of yore, as she sailed from shore to shore, 

Landing pioneers along the River Red. 

I recall to mind today, some old friends who went away, 
Pioneers who went where bounden duty led, 
Friends who came here to reside, when the Selkirk in her pride 
Towed her barges filled with grain upon the Red. 

Friends are leaving one by one, pioneers have gone, 

Some have gone to other lands and some are dead, 

Some of them are laid to rest, in the East, North, South and West, 

And some others rest beside the peaceful Red. 

Then, good-bye old friends, good-bye, for the dear old days we 


And live o'er again some youthful years now fled, 
And we'll often call to mind, happy days we left behind 
In the valley of the famous River Red. 

As I muse and watch the stream, here and there a fish doth gleam, 

And the song birds sing around and overhead, 

And I watch the river flow, as I did long years ago, 

When the Selkirk in her glory sailed the Red. 

Grand Forks. P. H. Donohue. 


The Northern Pacific Railway, the Great Northern, and other 
lines for the transportation of the products of this portion of the 
state of North Dakota, have been the forerunners of the settle- 
ment of the Red River valley. The transportation problem, by 
the incoming of these roads, settled the question as to the advis- 
ability of farmers locating in the state, and to the foresight and 
public spirit of James J. Hill and others, who paved the way for 
a commonwealth by the building of these roads, all honor is due. 
The six or seven hundred thousand people of North Dakota 
could hardly depend upon the dog sledge and the travoise of 
former times, especially when it is an undisputed fact that the 
freight trains of these railroads are the longest and carry the 
heaviest burdens of any trains in the world. Between 1846 and 
3865 many thousands of Red River carts were engaged largely 
in the transportation of the furs and buffalo hides which consti- 
tuted the chief products of North Dakota to St. Paul. The 
navigation of the Red River began in 1859, and as many as a 
dozen steamboats were engaged in the traffic, but with the advent 
of the railroads the steamboat trade fell off rapidly. And the 
stage lines did a large business also in the valley until supplanted 
by the railroads. 

The Northern Pacific Railroad. 

Dr. Hartwell Carver was the person who first conceived 
and publicly advocated building a railway across the American 
continent. The first suggestion of a railroad across the Rocky 
mountains occurred to him while in Europe in 1832, while cross- 



ing the Alps on the Simplon road built by Napoleon. But it was 
not until the year 1845 when Asa Whitney began to direct public 
attention to the project that any interest in the matter was 
taken. In 1854 Edwin F. Johnson, of Middletown, Connecticut, 
published a book with a map advocating the claim of the northern 
route to the Pacific. 

The public mind having persistently urged the necessity of 
such a national highway, congress passed the act of March 3, 
1853, which directed that the secretary of war should cause to be 
surveyed by an army of engineers the western country to ascer- 
tain the most practical route from the Mississippi river to the 
Pacific ocean. Jefferson Davis was the secretary of war, and he 
designated the several chiefs charged with the survey. These 
surveys were all successfully conducted except that under Captain 
Gunnison on the line of the thirty-eighth parallel. He, together 
with thirteen of his men, were massacred by the Indians in 
October, 1853. 

The northern route was in charge of Governor I. I. Stevens, of 
Washington territory. Among his assistants were Lieutenant 
George B. McClellan, and Captain John Pope. While Governor 
Stevens' survey proved this route feasible, Secretary Davis, 
however, was not disposed to give the northern route the chance 
its merits demanded. 

The people of Minnesota and the citizens of St. Paul became 
advocates of the Northern Pacific route and on July 10, 1857, 
held a meeting advocating the necessity of building a road over 
that line. On July 21, 1864, Abraham Lincoln signed the charter 
granting the building of the road. Joseph Perham was the first 
president of the Northern Pacific. In 1866, J. Gregory Smith, of 
Vermont, became president. In 1869 Jay Cooke & Co., of Phila- 
delphia, took the financial agency, and on Thursday, the 18th of 
September, 1873, the banking house of this company closed its 
doors. The foreclosure found this company in the fall of 1873 
in the possession of about 550 miles of completed railroad. Of 
these 350 extended from Duluth to Bismarck, and on the Pacific 
division 105 miles extended from Kalama, on fhe Columbia river, 
to Tacoma, on Puget Sound. It had earned 10.000,000 acres of 


land. But the Cooke failure having overtaken them the paralysis 
of the enterprise was made complete. 

George W. Cass now became president, and another appeal 
was made to congress, May, 1874, but the appeal was in vain. 

On the 16th of April, 1875, the United States Court of New 
York appointed a receiver of the Northern Pacific Railroad 
Company and on the 12th of May the trustees and bondholders 
applied for a final decree of sale, which was granted. Charles 
B. Wright was president in 1877, and in the year 1878 wheat 
farming in Central Dakota had become very active and profitable. 
The five successive harvests along the line of the road encouraged 
the work of construction, which had been suspended for six 

After the fall of Jay Cooke & Co. an epoch memorable in 
the history of the Northern Pacific followed. Frederick Billings 
had become president of the company and under his administra- 
tion the public had resumed faith in the enterprise. A sale of the 
road was made by him to a syndicate consisting of Drexel, 
Morgan & Co., Winslow Lanier & Co., and August Belmont & Co., 
of $40,000,000 of general first mortgage bonds. The hand of 
Henry Villard soon after this became a power in the destiny of 
the road. Villard becoming alarmed at the purposes of the 
Northern Pacific Company to extend their road to Portland, on 
the north side of the Columbia river, and thus crowd out his 
railroad interests on the Pacific coast, conceived the idea of 
buying out a controlling interest in the great road, and with 
this end in view organized the celebrated "blind pool," in which 
daring scheme his friends were asked to place millions of money 
in his hands for an unknown purpose. Confidence being the only 
basis for the transaction, no receipt for money was given. When 
the Villard combination had secured control of the Northern 
Pacific, Mr. Oakes, president of the Consolidated Railway & 
Navigation Companies in Oregon (companies endangered by the 
success of the Northern Pacific), was made vice president and 
executive manager, and to his ability we are indebted for the 
marvelous rapidity with which the last 800 miles of the Northern 
Pacific was completed. 


Villard and Oakes now became the financiers and the execu- 
tive managers of all the lines in Washington and Oregon and of 
the Northern Pacific besides. They now became the head of all 
these combinations and they furnished means to build branches, 
which the Northern Pacific, under the charter, had not the power 
to do, and thus prevent the encroachment of rival lines. To 
Villard belongs the honor of completing an enterprise equal to 
one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The total length of the 
main line of the Northern Pacific from Duluth to Puget Sound, 
is about 2,000 miles. Its total cost was over $100,000,000. The 
road has many important connections and branches in North 
Dakota. Among these are the Red River and Winnepeg branch 
from the state line to the international boundary line, with a 
length of ninety-six miles; Fargo and Southwestern Fargo to 
Edgerly, 108 miles ; branch from Jamestown to La Moure, forty- 
eight miles ; Valley Junction to Oakes, fifteen miles ; and, includ- 
ing all the branches, the Northern Pacific has a trackage in 
North Dakota of main line and branch lines, all told, of 786.01 

The officers of the company at the present time are Howard 
Elliott, president; James J. Hill, vice president; C. A. Clark, 

In about 1886 the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Sainte Marie 
railroad extended their Minnesota division across the boundary 
line at Fairmont, Richland county, and constructed a line west- 
ward to Ransom in Sargent county. In the '90s this same com- 
pany constructed a road from Hankinson, Richland county, to 
Portal, Ward county. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road Company also built a branch from Ortonville, Minnesota, 
to Fargo. 

The Great Northern Railway. 

In 1857 a land grant was made by Congress to the territory 
of Minnesota to aid in the construction of a railroad from Still- 
water by way of St. Paul to Big Stone Lake, with a branch line 
to the navigable waters of the Red River via St. Cloud and Crow 
Wing. The grant was for six sections of land for every mile of 


road. The town of Breckenridge was designated as the terminus 
of the main line and St. Vincent as the terminus of the branch. 
After this the Minnesota & Pacific railroad was organized and the 
line located, and to encourage the enterprise after Minnesota 
was admitted as a state she issued bonds in aid of several railroad 
enterprises, taking liens on the roads as security. The first road 
built in the state was the St. Paul & Pacific railroad, between 
St. Paul and St. Anthony, now Minneapolis, which was opened 
to traffic in 1862. In 1866 this line was extended from St. Paul 
to Elk River, thirty miles distant, and, in 1866, it was further 
extended to Sauk Rapids. 

About this time Mr. James J. Hill, then the St. Paul repre- 
sentative of the St. Paul & Pacific railroad, also the owner of 
the Red River Transportation Company, became very much 
impressed with the importance of the commercial future of the 
Northwest. In conjunction with N. "W. Kittson, another of the 
pioneers of the transportation business in North Dakota, plans 
were formed for the purchase of the St. Paul & Pacific railroad 
and the reorganization of the Railroad Company, later the Great 
Northern, was completed May 23, 1879, under the name of St. 
Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba railroad, and that was the begin- 
ning of an era of development, progress and prosperity unpar- 
alleled in the United States. 

George Stevens, of Montreal, was the first president of the 
new company, but in 1882 he was succeeded by James J. Hill, 
who has held the position until a few months ago, when he was 
elected chairman of the board of directors, being succeeded as 
president by Mr. L. W. Hill. 

The line down the east side of the Red River was known as 
the St. Vincent extension, and was extended to a connection 
with the Breckenridge line at Barnesville in 1877, and to the 
Canadian border in 1879, connecting there with the Canadian 
Pacific. The line between Barnesville and Melrose was completed 
to the Red River during the same year. The bridge was built 
during the winter and in January, 1880, Grand Forks was con- 
nected with the outer world by rail and North Dakota has its 
second road. In 1880 the line was extended west to Ojata, 


twelve miles, and south to Hillsboro. In July, 1880, the road 
crossed the Red River at Wahpeton, and was built north to Fargo. 
In May, 1881, Fargo and Grand Forks were connected by rail, 
and in December, 1881, the line north from Grand Forks was 
opened to Grafton. The west line was also extended to Larimore. 
In 1882 the north line was extended to Neche, and the west line 
to Bartlett. 

Soon after this Mr. Hill's magnificent project of extending 
the road to the Pacific Coast took shape. The great undertaking 
reached Minot in 1886, and the western boundary of the state 
in 1887. 

The Great Northern now has a total trackage of over 1,200 
miles within the state of North Dakota. In 1882 the road had 
1,007 miles of track, and in May, 1907, over 6,500 miles of track 
were being operated. Within the past few years the Great 
Northern has placed in service several fine passenger trains, 
notably the Winnipeg Limited and the Oriental Limited. The 
Winnipeg Limited is in daily service between the Twin Cities 
and Winnipeg. The compartment observation car, standard 
sleepers and coaches and dining car are the very best cars 
builders produce. 

The Oriental Limited is a daily train between St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis, and Spokane and Seattle, with connections for all 
Puget Sound points. The splendid equipment used in this train 
place it in the front rank of the famous trains of the world. 

The depots at Grand Forks and Fargo for the Great Northern 
are the finest between St. Paul and the city of Spokane, while 
the yards of the company at Grank Forks are the largest and 
most complete on its system outside of its terminals. 

The North Dakota Magazine says : ' ' Following the grant of 
land to the three Pacific railroads, congress granted to the state 
of Minnesota ten sections of land per mile to aid in the construc- 
tion of certain lines of railroad in that state including the main 
lines of the Great Northern railroad. The state had also granted 
certain swamp lands and a subsidy in bonds to aid in the con- 
struction. After the construction of the main line to Brecken- 
ridge, which it reached in October, 1871, beating the Northern 


Pacific in the race for the Red River valley by two and a half 
months, and the construction of the St. Cloud line to Sauk 
Rapids, which it reached in 1865, the road became bankrupt and 
the road passed into the control of a syndicate organized by 
James J. Hill, to whom the grant was finally transferred by the 
state of Minnesota. The construction of the St. Cloud line was 
commenced in 1862, when ten miles was built from St. Paul to 
Minneapolis, and it was completed to Sauk Rapids in 1865. The 
Breckenridge line was commenced in 1867 and was completed, as 
stated, to Breckenridge in October, 1871. The St. Cloud line was 
extended from Barnesville to Fisher's Landing in 1877, and 
December 2, 1878, the track layers joined the rails of the Cana- 
dian Pacific, giving a through line to Winnipeg, the connection 
having been made from Breckenridge to Barnesville. In 1880 the 
road was extended from Crookston to Grand Forks, and from 
thence on west to the Pacific Coast by successive stages. This 
system was at first known as the St. Paul & Pacific, then as the 
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba, taking its present name, The 
Great Northern, in 1890. 

"The land grant of the Northern Pacific doubled when the 
road crossed the Red River; that of the Great Northern ceased 
when the road left the limits of Minnesota. The Northern 
Pacific pushed rapidly westward, relying upon its through traffic 
to build up its business and take care of its bonded indebtedness ; 
the Great Northern relied upon the resources of the country, 
building spurs and branch lines, reaching out for business, send- 
ing out agents to bring in people to possess the land. Practically 
all of the lands along its line were free lands, while half of the 
lands along the Northern Pacific were not subject to homestead 
entry. In the early days the Northern Pacific was built and 
operated with reckless extravagance; the Great Northern was 
noted from the beginning for its economical administration and 
since its management passed into the hands of James J. Hill, 
who developed and built up its several systems, it has had no 
set back of any nature, and today the stocks of that company 
are quoted higher than any other stocks of any class on the 
market, the New York quotation being for Saturday, November 


10, 1906, 322V2 ; m railroad stocks the Northern Pacific stood 
next, at 220, higher than any other, excepting the Great Northern 
alone. The Northern Pacific has done much for the development 
of the country through which it passes; the Great Northern has 
done more. 

"The Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie railroad, more 
familiarly known as the "Soo," has also done much for the 
development of North Dakota. Its lines, too, were extended 
without a bonus and without a land grant, and are being pushed 
in competition with the Great Northern to almost all parts of the 
state. They have been extended through the southern part to the 
capital and on north to the coal fields, and from the southeastern 
portion diagonally across the state, and from the east to the 
western part through the northern counties, entering upon a 
rivalry with the Great Northern, born of the rivalry which has 
always existed between St. Paul and Minneapolis, the leading 
spirits of the Soo residing at Minneapolis, while the home of 
James J. Hill is -at St. Paul, where he began life as a humble 

"The Chicago & Northwestern railroad enters the state at 
Oakes. What it may do in the way of development remains to be 
seen. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul has a line to Fargo, 
and also enters the state at Ellendale, passing on northward 
toward the Northern Pacific, which it is likely to cross in Stuts- 
man county and again in Burleigh, the latter line being an 
extension from Eureka in South Dakota. It will also enter the 
southwestern part of the state, passing through Hettinger and 
Bowman counties." 

This sketch is hardly complete without some notice being 
made of the large steamers, Dakota and Minnesota, built in 1879, 
that plied between Seattle and the Old World. It was Mr. Hill's 
purpose to seek customers for our food products across the 
ocean, and his ambition was to carry flour from Minneapolis to 
Hong Kong for forty cents a hundred, when the rate from Minne- 
apolis to New York was twenty-five cents. In this connection 
we can do no better than make a clipping from the Grand 
Forks Silver Anniversary Edition, published in 1879, and that 


we may better understand something more definite about the 
comprehensive plans for the development of the Northwest at 
the risk of commerce, by the projection of this great enterprise 
whose spirit went beyond mere personal gain. A few words 
will also be inserted about Mr. Hill himself. This article when 
speaking of this railroad magnate when beginning in business, 

"H. P. Hall, the veteran newspaper man of St. Paul, says 
that when he first came to St. Paul James J. Hill was one of the 
characters on the levee, where he was employed as a check clerk 
by a firm of warehouse men at a salary of $60 per month. His 
duty was checking freight from the manifest of the steamboats 
as the roustabouts brought it from the boats for storage in the 
warehouse. When the first railroad started in St. Paul, the old 
St. Paul Pacific, Mr. Hill became the station agent, under con- 
tract to handle all the traffic at so much per ton. Then when the 
railroad was extended north to the big woods country Mr. Hill 
made an exclusive contract with the railroad by which he alone 
could bring wood into the city at a given rate per cord. Wood 
was the only fuel to be secured there at that time. He made his 
prices reasonable and was soon doing a large wood business and 
later engaged in general warehouse business, and from that into 
the steamboat business on the Red River. From that to the 
railroad business. 

Launching the Dakota. 

The launching of the steamship Dakota in February last at 
New London, Conn., was an event of more than ordinary interest 
to the people of North Dakota and of the entire northwest. The 
Dakota is the second of the two great steamships, the largest in 
the world in carrying capacity, building for the Great Northern 
Steamship Company. These great ships are the outcome of a 
project of James J. Hill for carrying the products of the north- 
western states to Japanese and Chinese markets, and within a 
few months the Dakota and her sister ship, the Minnesota, now 
Hearing completion, will be engaged in Pacific ocean traffic. 

By invitation of President Hill a party of northwestern people 


attended the launching, and Miss Mary Bell Memington, repre- 
senting the University of North Dakota, christened the majestic 
craft as it took its first plunge into its native element. The 
editor-in-chief of The Herald was included in the party attending 
the ceremony. Two Great Northern sleepers were attached to a 
Burlington train which left St. Paul on the evening of Feb- 
ruary 3, bound for Chicago, under the charge of C. E. Stone, 
assistant general passenger agent of the Great Northern Railway, 
and containing the guests of President Hill. 

The party reached New York Friday evening and early Sat- 
urday morning took a special train provided by President Mellen 
of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad, for New Lon- 
don. The train consisted of ten coaches, all filled with guests of 
President Hill, including the North Dakota delegation at Wash- 
ington and others to the number of several hundred. ' ' 

The following sketch by The Herald fully describes these 
boats : 

' ' The Dakota and Minnesota are each 630 feet long, or nearly 
an eighth of a mile, and 73 feet 6 inches beam. They have five 
complete decks the whole length of the ships and three passenger 
decks above in the superstructure. To transport a full cargo of 
one of these ships 2,500 freight and passenger cars of ordinary 
size would be required, or 125 trains of twenty cars each. They 
will carry provisions for 1,500 people for a month and 5,000 tons 
of coal. The height from the keel to the navigating deck is 88 
feet, or equal to a seven or eight story building. The ships will 
have all improvements that modern science can suggest. They 
will be electrically lighted and heated and their cargoes will be 
handled by electric power. Their engines will have an indicated 
horsepower of 4,800 each with a steam pressure of 230 pounds. 
The smokestacks are elliptical in shape, 16x13 feet, and 124 feet 
high. The ships will have complete refrigerating and ice-making 
plants of large capacity. The Minnesota is now rapidly nearing 
completion and the Dakota is to be ready this winter to make 
her first journey of many thousand miles around Cape Horn to 
Seattle, and thence to engage in commerce with the orient." 


The introduction of the mower and reaper into the Dakota 
territory, particularly the Red River valley of the North, dates 
back to about as early a period as we have any authentic record 
of settlers in that country. Fort Abercrombie was located at the 
head of the Red River in what is now Richland county, North 
Dakota. There was a settlement at that point as far back as the 
early '60s under the protection of this fort. These farmers, in 
addition to cultivating a small area of land, put up hay under 
contract for the government. About this time there were some 
scattering settlers in the Red River valley near the Canadian 
line. The Hudson Bay Fur Company purchased mowing machines 
in St. Paul and sold them to these settlers. The machines were 
hauled overland by wagon trains to the head of the Red River 
valley, and were taken north by boat down the river to the fur 
company's post. 

After the Northern Pacific railroad was completed to Fargo, 
many settlers commenced to flock to what is now the Red River 
valley. This was in the late '60s and early '70s. Many of these 
settlers took mowers and reapers with them, while others pur- 
chased machines in St. Paul, which point at that time was the 
general headquarters for machine companies in the West, As 
the settlers commenced to cultivate farms and open new lands 
in the Red River valley, and as emigrants began to flock in at a 
pretty lively rate, many representatives of the several mowing 
and reaping machine companies invaded this territory and estab- 
lished agencies throughout the Red River valley. During this 
period the different companies operated from St. Paul and Min- 



neapolis, but later as the trade grew and the demand for machines 
became greater, several of the reaping and mowing machine com- 
panies established headquarters in Fargo, Grand Forks and 
other points in the valley. 

During the period from 1875 to 1881, North Dakota enjoyed 
an enormous influx of farmer emigrants who made the raising 
of wheat a specialty, and this, of course, developed a very large 
demand for both grain and grass cutting machines. Before this 
time there was a small settlement of farmers in the vicinity of 
Fort Totten, which is located near Devil's lake. These settlers 
went in there a little later than those around Fort Abercrombie. 
The farming operations there were carried on very much the 
same as those in the vicinity of Fort Abercrombie the farmers 
used mowing machines and put up hay for the military post. 
These machines were also purchased in St. Paul and hauled over- 
land by wagons. In 1879 several of the different harvesting 
machine companies, some of which comprise the present Inter- 
national Harvester Company of America, opened branch houses 
in Fargo, some locating their branches at Grand Forks in order 
to place their stock of extras and machines near the settlements, 
and the machine trade was worked from these points. 

After the passing of the self-rake reaper, such of the several 
harvesting machine companies as manufactured wire binders 
and harvesters sold that class of machines and enjoyed a large 
trade. Later the twine binder replaced both the reaper and the 
wire binder, as well as the old hand harvester. Some of the prin- 
cipal companies that now comprise the International Company 
had branch houses at Fargo and Grand Forks, and they were all 
located there as early as 1883, or 1884, with general agencies that 
worked the trade through the Red River valley, and as far west 
in Dakota as there were settlers to be found. In 1879 there were 
four or five regularly established local agencies as far west as 
Bismarck, which was then the terminus of the Northern Pacific 
railroad. Indeed, it may be said that there was more activity in 
the binder and mower business in the Red River valley at that 
time than there has been at any time since. In those days the 
farmers devoted unusually large areas to the growing of small 


grain crops, and, naturally, there was a very large demand for 
harvesting machines. 

As early as 1880 all the harvesting companies that have been 
merged into the International Company, except the Piano Com- 
pany, maintained regularly established branch houses in either 
Fargo or Grand Forks. The Piano company was represented 
later. In other words, the Champion, Deering, McCormick, Mil- 
waukee, Osborne and Piano machines made possible the develop- 
ment of the northwest country. These machines were improved 
with the development of the Red River valley. 

This great valley is the birthplace of many of the more impor- 
tant improvements that have been made on agricultural machines 
during the last quarter of a century. It is here that the manu- 
facturers sent their new machines for field trials, because they 
knew full well that if a machine would work successfully under 
the varying conditions to be found here it would work success- 
fully anywhere. One improvement suggested another, and not 
infrequently unusual conditions were encountered that necessi- 
tated an entirely new machine or implement. In this way the 
whole varied line of modern agricultural machines and imple- 
ments was gradually developed and perfected. Few realize how 
extensive the modern requirements of the North Dakota agricul- 
turist have grown to be in the line of machines and implements. 
In addition to the binders and mowers already referred to, the 
Red River valley agriculturist today cannot carry on his farming 
operations without headers, header-binders, hay tedders, self- 
dump hay rakes, sweep rakes, hay loaders, hay stackers, hay 
balers, feed grinders, cream separators, gasoline engines, manure 
spreaders, wagons, threshing machines, tillage implements, and 
binder twine, all of which this company is supplying. 

The development of this line of machines has brought about a 
consequent development of means to care for the distribution of 
them, and at Grand Forks and Fargo there have been erected 
immense brick warehouses of modern construction of sufficient 
capacity to house thousands of these machines and accessories to 
supply the demand for quick shipment to the hundreds of 
agencies throughout this district. These permanently constructed 



buildings are a credit to the company as well as an ornament 
James J. Hill is at St. Paul, where he began life as a humble 
to the state and cities in which they are located, and enable the 
company to keep on hand at all times to supply the needs of the 
farmers duplicates of every part of the machines, which consti- 
tutes a very great saving of time in making repairs when a break- 
age from any cause occurs in the harvest or hay field or any 
other field of operation. 

This development has not only extended to the Red River 
valley but the company has opened and is maintaining immense 
warehouses and general agencies at Minot, Bismarck and other 
points in the state, and is giving employment to thousands of 
men who are continuously reaching all industries in caring for 
the very large trade that has developed. 

Half a century ago this whole region was a howling wilder- 
ness, but with indefatigable pluck and infinite skill the sturdy 
sons of this valley have carved out an empire. Today North 
Dakota has a population of nearly 500,000. There are approxi- 
mately 50,000 farms, embracing 15,000,000 acres of land under 
cultivation. In 1906 this state devoted some 5,000,000 acres to 
growing wheat and produced 75,000,000 bushels of that cereal, 
valued at upward of $52,000,000. In the same year some 50,000,- 
000 bushels of oats, worth $10,000,000, were grown in the state. 
The figures covering the hay crop are not available, but the value 
of the hay crop in North Dakota is perhaps greater than that 
of the wheat and oats crops combined. 

The rapid settlement of the Missouri slope country, and the 
successful gathering of their immense harvests, would have been 
impossible without these improved machines. The great farms 
where the furrow is plowed for miles and where the line of bind- 
ers sweep across wheat fields embracing thousands of acres was 
made possible by the use of these machines. The hay fields were 
so large that means had to be found to handle the crop faster 
and to better advantage. The several companies that now com- 
prise the International company were quick to recognize the 
needs of the agriculturists in this new country, and they blazed 
the trail across the vast stretches of valley lands that was after- 
wards followed by the railroads. 


It is therefore not difficult to understand that the development 
of the Eed Eiver valley, which is now North Dakota, is due in 
no small measure to the several harvesting machine companies 
that now comprise the International company. Their representa- 
tives closely studied the requirements of the farmers and fur- 
nished them grain and grass cutting machines so that it was 
possible for them to harvest their crops. Indeed, it is not too 
much to say that the Red Eiver valley could never have raised 
and harvested such enormous crops, and this great valley would 
never have become so famous in history as the bread basket of 
the world, had it not been for the various harvesting machine 
companies that supplied the binders and mowers to harvest the 
crops. During the pioneer days the reaper moved civilization 
westward at the rate of thirty miles a year, and it was the reaper 
that enabled the early settlers of the great Eed Eiver valley to 
achieve their industrial independence. 


Thomas B. Walker. 

North Dakota is one of the four large central states, of almost 
entirely prairie lands, the other three comprising South Dakota, 
Nebraska and Kansas, which are all practically untimbered ex- 
cepting small areas of hardwood lands in Kansas and Nebraska, 
which are now practically denuded, and a small area of pine in 
the Black Hills of South Dakota. These four states, with portions 
of Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota and a small portion of 
Wisconsin and Indiana, constitute the great open prairie land 
district of the central portion of the United States. This ex- 
tensive territory covers an area of about 522,000 square miles of 
rich agricultural land, subject to cultivation and abundant crops 
without irrigation. Of this North Dakota covers an area of about 
70,000 square miles. The easterly half of this consists mainly 
of agricultural land, while the westerly half is largely a grazing 
area, more or less of which is subject to cultivation. The Red 
River valley, which bounds the state on its entire eastern bound- 
ary, covers an area of nearly seven million acres, and consists 
of some of the richest and most productive land in the world. 

The state produces now nearly 10 per cent of the wheat and 
oats and about 40 per cent of the flaxseed raised in the United 
States. There is now under cultivation only about 16 per cent of 
the entire area. When the state is developed as fully as it may 
be expected in the course of the next twenty-five years there 
should be under direct cultivation, exclusive of pasture lands 
and timber culture land, 32 to 40 per cent of the entire area, ex- 



elusive of hay and grazing land, which will probably bring the 
total crop production up to two or three times what it is now pro- 
ducing, exclusive of the large amounts of stock and dairy 

North Dakota, not having, a timber supply of its own, has 
relied upon the pine lands of Minnesota and Wisconsin in large 
part for its building timber. Its supply of hardwood for its fur- 
niture, tools, implements and machinery made of hardwood has 
come from that extensive tract embracing large parts of Texas, 
Arkansas, Missouri, the southern part of Illinois, most of Ten- 
nessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, portions of southern or central 
Minnesota, and Wisconsin, southern Michigan and portions of 
West Virginia, the western part of Pennsylvania, the west half 
of Virginia, and the westerly portion of North Carolina. 

This great hardwood timber tract, embracing an area of about 
507,000 square miles or 324,000,000 acres, has furnished the sup- 
ply of hardwood lumber for this country and is the foundation 
of extensive manufactures of hardwood products that have gone 
into foreign trade. But these lands, to the extent of more than 
four-fifths, have been denuded of their timber. A very large 
fractional part has been wasted and burned to clear the land in 
order to reach the soil. The timber was an incumbrance which 
has worn out in the most severe service countless multitudes of 
industrious farmers, the first generation of whom, as early set- 
tlers, devoted their lives to clearing away and getting the soil 
ready for producing crops. 

In this respect the timber has been far more of a drawback, 
and made the early settlements less successful than in the prairie 
area, where breaking the sod required much less work and time 
than clearing up the timber lands. And when the prairie was 
once broken the vast aggregate of old stumps that would take a 
generation to remove were not an incumbrance as in the timber 

The advantages from living amongst the hardwoods, as against 
the prairie states, furnished an advantage in the way of logs out 
of which to build the houses, stables and fences, and fuel. But 
in general the farmers of the timber states were much slower in 
gaining a comfortable home and abundant or sufficient means to 


make them independent of debt and to supply them with the nec- 
essaries, comforts, conveniences and even luxuries of life. 

The prairie farmers have, to a very unusual extent, prospered 
and become full handed, and are now really the principal bankers 
who supply the money in the cities of the middle West, through 
the agency of the country banks in which the farmers deposit 
their large surplus of money. A large part of the money used in 
Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas 
City is supplied by the small banks throughout these states, who 
buy commercial paper and in this way are enabled to pay the 
farmers interest on their deposits. The mortgages have been prac- 
tically all paid and the farmers in large part freed from debts or 
obligations, and have met with a prosperity such as has never in 
the history of the world reached as extensive a class of cultivators 
of the soil as here in the prairie states. 

One of the principal things which led to the successful de- 
velopment of these states was the very cheap lumber supply, both 
of the pine and hardwood. But now the pine timber supply of 
Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as Michigan, Maine, New Hamp- 
shire, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania is in large part ex- 
hausted, there being perhaps not more than ten or fifteen per cent 
of the original amount of timber now standing. 

The southern pine has been only fractionally cut, but is be- 
ing very rapidly consumed by the heavy demands of a constantly 
increasing use of lumber and wood products. 

This southern pine will probably furnish something of a sup- 
ply for the main portion of the United States for the next fifteen 
or twenty years, but during that time, the remaining pine and 
hemlock of Minnesota and Wisconsin will afford a limited supply 
for five or ten years. 

The southern pine belt is so far distant from North Dakota 
that after Minnesota and Wisconsin cease to be able to furnish 
the supply, which will be but a few years, the Kocky Mountain 
region, will be drawn upon for many years until that limited sup- 
ply becomes exhausted. Then the Pacific Coast states Wash- 
ington, Oregon and California will be drawn upon. These lat- 
ter pine areas will be sufficient to furnish a reasonable supply 
for probably twenty-five or thirty years, and if intelligent 


methods are continued by the counties, states and general gov- 
ernment in the handling of these mountain forest lands, a con- 
tinued supply through re-foresting can be produced that will, 
to some extent, furnish wood for supplying those needs that can- 
not be met by other substitutes. 

The remnant of the great hardwood forests will practically 
disappear within the next very few years, and when this is ex- 
hausted there is no western hardwood area as there is of the 
pine, to continue the supply. So that this hardwood question is 
one that is likely to be of as great importance as that of the 

The resources for securing any further stock of hardwood 
must be made by re-foresting both on the non-agricultural avail- 
able lands throughout all the states, where a timber crop can be 
grown, but also to cultivate and grow timber to more or less 
extent on agricultural lands. 

Timber is reproduced by slight drafts on the soil, but to large 
extent upon the air and water, and in this way it is a renewal of 
the soil and will tend to lengthen out the agricultural life of 
farming lands that have been more or less exhausted or where 
it is of poor quality for farming purposes. 

And while in North Dakota the larger part of all the land can 
be cultivated, yet a fractional part might as profitably be used 
for producing timber for lumber, both as building material and 
other purposes for which it is available and essential, as to at- 
tempt to use it all for agricultural purposes. 

The timber supply is becoming exhausted so rapidly, that 
unless the states generally take up the question of re-foresting 
and this without much further delay, it will become practically 
impossible to obtain a sufficient supply to meet the absolute needs 
in the way of lumber for building and for furniture, implements, 
etc., independent of other very necessary uses for which wood is 
now used. And this will come not only to be an inconvenience 
but to bring so much less of the comforts and conveniences of 
life, that living will be on a much lower scale than has prevailed 
in the past. In fact, lumber is of far greater importance and a 
more essential necessity than we are accustomed to realize. And 
it now appears that while re-foresting and the production of a 


stock of lumber is much discussed by forestry associations and 
presidential conferences and by newspapers and periodicals and 
by congress and state legislatures politicians and orators gen- 
erally practical forestry will not be entered upon with sufficient 
energy and promptness by the general government, the states 
and the farmers, in sufficient numbers to meet the imperative de- 
mands of the comparatively near future. When the supply is so 
far exhausted ti.e needs so urgent and it becomes understood 
by the men who have surplus acres which they can devote to 
raising timber that it can be produced with a good return for the 
use of the land and the labor and expense devoted to this crop, 
the raising of timber will be entered upon in a practical way, to 
furnish, in the course of time, a limited supply. 

There are two facts or features that will develop in the future 
that will make the occupation of tree raising and lumber produc- 
ing a profitable enterprise. Lumber will considerably increase 
in price from now until the present stock is practically consumed. 
This increased price of lumber will make forestry more profitable 
in consequence of increased value of the lumber, and when the 
further consideration is added that lumber will be much more 
economically manufactured whereby a log will be made to pro- 
duce a much greater amount of lumber that will sell at a much 
greater price the two features will make timber culture and 
lumber producing more profitable. 

The processes whereby lumber will be so much more econom- 
ically cut, will be the exceedingly thin veneer cutting saws, or 
probably still more economical processes of using planing knives, 
to cut the thin lumber without the waste of sawdust. These 
thin veneers of lumber will be glued or cemented into a thicker 
piece by placing two layers of the thin lumber parallel and an- 
other one crossways between them, putting the better grade of 
lumber on the outside and the commoner qualities inside and on 
the bottom. These three thicknesses of lumber will not need to 
make more than three-eighths of an inch, for what will be used 
for ordinary boards. For such purposes as will require thicker 
lumber, more layers of the thin lumber can be put together, mak- 
ing for flooring enough to make a thickness of three-fourths of 
an inch, putting the lower grade of lumber out of sight, and 


making the upper sheet a thicker perhaps one-fourth of an 
inch in order that the wear may not cut away the upper one 
too early. 

And it is probable also that another method of making the 
composition board will be by using cotton cloth as an interior 
sheet to form part of the composition board by being strongly 
glued in between two or more outer sheets of wood. In other 
words, to use a cloth sheet in place of one of the thin wooden 
sheets above noted. This cloth with the glue filling will form a 
strong binding, give strength and toughness and elasticity suf- 
ficient to take the place of boards for most uses. Or three or 
more sheets of wood can be used with two sheets of thin cloth 
filling. When composition boards so made are painted, oiled or 
varnished either on one or both sides, the latter in general more 
preferable, it will furnish very satisfactory material for a large 
part of the constructions where lumber is ordinarily used. And 
being thinner and weighing less than the ordinary thick lumber, 
it can be produced, transported and sold for less per thousand 
feet than usual thickness lumber. 

It is probable that the superstructure of buildings will be 
largely made from cement, brick or stone and the joists and 
floor timber will be made of lumber cut with thin saws, or per- 
haps with planing knives and made into a composition lumber 
that will need to be made of sufficient thickness to carry the load 
placed upon them. 

Doors will be made of a composition probably almost alto- 
gether of thin boards cemented together as above outlined. The 
machinery for cutting thin lumber will in general be made of 
much smaller logs than that which has come from the natural 
forests. Another feature of the future lumber supply which 
will also aid in making timber culture more profitable and de- 
sirable, will be improved methods of making thick paper boards 
of wood pulp, after the general manner that is used in making 
printing and wrapping paper, and paper board. Sheets of any 
reasonable thickness and of sufficient strength and solidity to 
be used for general purposes where boards are now employed can 
be made from any sized trees, from saplings four or five inches 
in diameter up to full sized saw timber. The pulp, to make a de- 


sirable quality, would require partly chemical pulp fiber mixed 
with a certain proportion of ground wood pulp, the toughness 
and durability depending in large part upon the proportion of 
the former. Some manner of adhesive sizing may be mixed with 
the pulp in forming the board that will make it harder, stronger 
and more durable. Lumber made in this way, of one-fourth or 
one-half of an inch in thickness, could probably be purchased at 
a price of from $20 to $30 per thousand feet, surface measure, 
and give a very good return for the use of the land, the labor, 
and expense in raising the trees and producing the lumber. And 
although this price is above that which has prevailed and above 
that for some years to come, as a price for common grades of 
lumber, yet it will be within the range of the prices that will 
prevail in the course of the next twenty years or by the time any 
crop of timber could be raised, starting in at the present time. 

Lumber manufactured from cultivated trees, either in the 
way of being cut with thin saws or planing knives or from wood 
pulp, can use profitably small logs and in which less expensive 
neighborhood mills can be used to good advantage by the farm- 
ers or local business men to furnish employment for considerable 
numbers and produce it as economically and with as little ex- 
pense as could be done in larger plants, where large capital is 
necessarily employed, as at the present time and with the methods 
now used. 

The manufacture of paper board lumber can also be pro- 
duced with what will probably be much improved methods of 
dissolving the wood fiber if not in producing the ground wood 
pulp. A crop of rapidly growing timber planted at the present 
time will yield in the course of eighteen to thirty years to pro- 
duce timber from the size of telegraph poles, or eight and ten 
inches in diameter to that which will then be considered respect- 
able sized saw logs from trees fifteen to twenty-two inches in 
diameter. Timber raised of this smaller size and grown thicker 
together may be as profitable as to wait for larger growth. The 
stumps of the smaller trees can be removed more readily than the 
larger ones, and will not be in the way any more, if as much, in 
replanting among them. 

The farmer who has the ordinary sized quarter section farm 


might very profitably lay off about one-eighth part of his land 
or a twenty-acre piece to plant in timber as early as he can ac- 
complish it. 

The kind of timber most profitable to cultivate is a question 
that will need particular consideration, and for this and other 
matters pertaining to forestry, and to furnish a bureau of in- 
formation and advice, a commission of one or more should be 
appointed, whose investigations and studies of forestry in this 
and other countries should furnish the people sufficient informa- 
tion to enable them to determine the kind of timber that would 
nourish to the best advantage and be the most profitable to cul- 

In the westerly part of the state it is probable that spruce or 
pine will be the most desirable crop; in the eastern half certain 
grades of hardwood, perhaps white and black ash, and for boards 
and building lumber, poplar, with perhaps some lighter varieties 
of pine and spruce. The lumber producing trees must be of a 
quality that will not warp and twist, as it will make lumber of 
little value, such, for instance, as the cottonwood and the water 
elm. The red elm might perhaps be serviceable. 

North Dakota, with its large individual holdings of land, 
prosperous condition of the farmers, who can afford to wait for 
a term of years for the returns from land appropriated and 
money and work devoted to cultivating timber, either for them- 
selves or their children, should promptly take up the question of 
reforesting, which can be done equally well there, as in any of 
the states, and in such manner that it will not draw too heavily 
on the resources of the settlers for the next ten or twenty years. 
Such timber growth will make a far more agreeable country to 
live in act as a wind break and a protection for cattle in storms, 
in addition to furnishing a supply of fuel from trimmings of 
the trees and the future supply of lumber at what will be a 
profitable investment as a return for the use of the land, the 
labor and expenditures. 

This co\irse will aid materially in bringing prosperity and 
comfortable conditions for the coming generations, without 
which, in this state, as in the country generally, a failure to 
enter upon reforesting will result in a condition of not mere in- 


convenience, but of hardship that will reduce the comforts of 
living far below that which has prevailed or that would take 
place if reforesting is entered upon with sufficient general prac- 
tice to insure a reasonable supply of timber to cover the neces- 
sities for comfortable living in future years. 



James Twamley. 

Trade and commerce are the forerunners of civilization. It 
has blazed the way for the missionary and made it possible for 
him to reach the hearts of the heathen. Men have deprived them- 
selves of the comforts of home and friends and risked their lives 
and health in the interest of trade. Corporations and trusts have 
been formed for the purpose of introducing the products of one 
nation to another who was unable to produce the same line of 

Thus we see Germany, France and England controlling the 
trade of a large part of the globe. It brings the Christian and 
the heathen together. When their interests are at stake, trade 
has made it possible to soothe the savage breast. This we see in 
North Dakota as well as in Africa, China and Japan. 

The Hudson Bay Fur Company was chartered by Charles II 
on May 2nd, 1670. The charter gave unlimited powers to con- 
trol all trade of that country that lay within the entrance of 
Hudsons straits, if not actually possessed by British subjects or 
any other Christian prince or state. All was called "Rupert's 
Land" as a compliment to Prince Rupert, cousin of King Charles. 
The gentlemen adventurers, as they were called, were King 
Charles, Prince Rupert, the Duke of York and the Duke of Marl- 
borough. They hoped to find a shorter route to India, or a 
Northwest passage. Some estimate of the company's power may 
be imagined when it is known that it had authority over one- 
third of the whole North America to hold as absolute proprietors 



with power, not only governing their own officers and servants, 
but all people upon the land. 

The Indians had absolute trust in the good faith of the com- 
pany and much credit is due the company that its methods were 
so honest. They made enormous profits on their merchandise 
by exchanging the skins of the mink, beaver, coon and fox for 
a few beads, ear pipe and wampum. The promises made were 
kept, the company's word was reliable and the Indians were 
oftentimes the best friends the company had. Naturally the 
operations that are most interesting to the North Dakotan are 
those pertaining to the Red River valley. It was not until 1799 
that the Red river proper was taken possession of. Lord Sel- 
kirk, a Scottish nobleman, had a great scheme for colonizing the 
interior of North America. He finally determined to do it by 
means of the Hudson Bay Company. He had patriotic and lofty 
aims, but these could not all be carried out. 

In May, 1811, he, with friends, purchased land on the Red 
River of the North with a view to settling a colony there. They 
were to assume the expense of transporting, governing and pro- 
tecting the colonists, and provide them with the essentials to be- 
come established. One hundred and ten thousand square miles 
of fertile land on the Red and Assiniboine rivers were secured in 
June, 1811. A company numbering about seventy started from 
Orkney islands. Captain McDonald, who was chosen to assist 
Lord Selkirk, brought oats, barley and potatoes, as well as cattle 
and poultry. Lord Selkirk was seeking new colonists all the 
while, and he started another company the next year, but only 
fifteen or twenty reached the Red river in the fall of 1813, as a 
fever caused the death of many. 

Governor McDonald had taken a number of colonists to Pem- 
bina during 1812, where buffalo could be had. Ninety-three per- 
sons from the Orkney islands reached the Red river the next 
year. Long before this time the North West Trading Company, 
a powerful rival of the Hudson Bay Company, which had been 
carrying on a keen rivalry, induced 150 of the colonists to go to 
Canada. Shortly after they were induced to return, having had 
some trouble with the rival company, and pioneer hardships all 


helped to prevent the growth and development of the colony. 
However, in time permanent settlements were made. 

Trading was carried on -between all the country lying be- 
tween Fort Garry, Winnipeg and St. Paul. It was an interesting 
sight to see the long line of Red river carts, a vehicle made with- 
out a particle of iron, bound together by wooden pins and pegs 
and strapped by the sinew of the deer, lubricating oil being very 
scarce in the settlements. You could hear these carts for miles 
as the oxen winded their way across the plain. 

In the winter the dog train and sled took the place of the 
cart and ox. The pioneers wrapped warmly in their furs, bounded 
over the frozen ground, bringing their furs to exchange for the 
products of the mill and factory. The Hudson bay trading post 
was an interesting place. The clerks soon managed enough of 
dialect to trade with the Indians, as the latter would not conde- 
scend to speak English, even when it would be to his advantage. 
The clerks had a mongrel language of their own by which they 
made known their ideas to the Indians. 

Since the company had to protect its property, numerous 
forts were built along the frontier. Some of these are still in 
existence. The work of the Hudson Bay Fur Company is not 
over. Wherever the new posts of the company are opened, push- 
ing fartherest into the frontier, may be found the officers of the 
Hudson Bay Fur Company. Its center is still, as it always has 
been, in London, England. It is to be admired for its progres- 
siveness, its business ability, and the honor it has shown in deal- 
ing with the natives. Truly it is, as it has been called, "The 
Great Company." 

Having ample capital for the prosecution of their business, 
they conceived the idea of extending their relations with the 
original settlers of our country, who were the best fur collectors 
in the world, and established posts at Grand Forks, Frog Point, 
Goose River and Georgetown. The base of supplies was Grand 
Forks, and from this point they supplied their sub-stations, and 
while they did a large business with the white residents, they 
captured nearly all the fur that was brought into Grand Forks 
and her sub-stations. They were shipped to London to be dressed 
and made up, and returned to this country, as we were not sup- 


posed to know how to tan a skin. The Hudson Bay Fur Company 
employed the best men they could find and paid liberal wages, 
because they were making a magnificent profit on their goods, 
and the fur business was about all gain, London being the head- 
quarters for the world on fur, as on many other articles. They 
dictated the price, they bought cheap and sold high, and today, 
while the English as a class wear very little fur, they dictate 
the price of the fur market for the world. The freight rate is 
in their favor, their goods are carried on English vessels that 
are subsidized by the government, which virtually kills all com- 
petition on freight rates, and puts our American vessels prac- 
tically out of business. England has her agents in every part 
of the world employed in all kinds of trade and commerce that 
leads to London as the fountain head of the world, with her un- 
limited capital and her subsidized vessels, England stands with- 
out a rival today before the nations of the world. 

The Hudson Bay Fur Company buy for a few cents our musk- 
rat, take it to London, dress it and return it to us as Aleutian 
seal or river mink, likewise they take our skunk, dress it and 
return it as martin. Also our rabbit or Belgian hare comes back 
from London as Coney, near seal or electric seal, and our weasel 
as ermine. So we see what we are paying for this work and 
getting paid for our furs, with a great big balance in favor of the 
Hudson Bay Fur Company. In this way they have accumulated 
an immense capital and their profits beat anything on record in 
the United States. Today they own a large part of the North- 
west Territory. They had the first white men to settle this coun- 
try and also the new Northwest. They have hundreds of agents 
scattered all over the country and hundreds of miles off the road, 
but constantly in communication with the parent company. The 
Hudson Bay Fur Company built their own telegraph line into 
Grand Forks and operated it in the interest of the people up to 
the time the Great Northern came to the valley, and there the 
Hudson Bay dressed back from civilization and up to the present 
time is doing a large fur trade in the Northwest territories. 
Although they also handle a large amount of all kinds of mer- 
chandise outside of the fur business and the outlook at the pres- 
ent time as regards the transportation problem would seem to 


favor the Hudson bay route to Liverpool, naturally the nearer 
one gets to the pole, the shorter is the distance across the world. 
Thus from Japan to Liverpool by way of San Francisco is fully 
eleven thousand miles. But the Vancouver-Montreal route takes 
a thousand miles off this. Going by Prince Ruperts, the new 
Grand Trunk terminus saves another seven hundred miles, and 
last of all comes the new projected route by way of Prince Ru- 
pert and Hudson bay, which reduces the Japan-Liverpool jour- 
ney from eleven to eight thousand miles. It is estimated that a 
railroad to Hudson bay would move Liverpool 2,000 miles nearer 
to western shippers. At the present time six different charters 
have been granted in connection with Hudson bay, schemes Wil- 
fried Laurier, the premier, declares that if the standing offer 
of 12,000 acres of land per mile is not found sufficient encourage- 
ment, other means must be adopted such as making the Hudson 
bay route both railroad and steamship a national undertaking. 
Of course the Hudson Bay Fur Company is greatly interested in 
the development of this new route, as a big saver of time and 
distance between the new land and the mother country. 

Governor Graham, of Winnipeg, had supervision over the 
Hudson Bay business at Grand Forks and looked after their in- 
terests. They built the old Northwestern hotel, which was lo- 
cated on corner of Demers avenue and Third street. This they 
sold to Peter Carrol, who afterwards traded it for a farm. It is 
now a part of the Arlington Park hotel, owned by Colonel Knud- 
son. The headquarters of the company were located on the cor- 
ner of Third street and Kitson avenue, the present site of the 
Union National bank. 

Walter J. S. Trail was the local manager of the company at 
Grand Forks, which position he held for years, and was succeeded 
by Frank Veits, who afterward purchased the stock of goods 
when the company concluded to withdraw their business from 
this side of the line. Mr. Veits was succeeded by Veits & Twam- 
ley, who conducted the business for years on the corner of 
Demers avenue and Third street, and were the first wholesalers 
of merchandise in North Dakota, long before the St. Paul & Pa- 
cific, now the Great Northern railroad, reached Grand Forks. 

Mr. Twamley was engaged in the wholesale business all his 


life until he came to Grand Forks in the year 1876. Captain Hoi- 
comb purchased the real estate of the company as a speculation, 
and he sold it to John McKelvey, who disposed of it in small 

The Hudson Bay Fur Company extended many favors to the 
early settlers of the Red River valley ; carrying an immense stock 
of goods they were in a condition to grant all the accommoda- 
tion asked for. The writer of this article sold them at one time 
about $75,000 worth of goods and all were shipped to Grand 
Forks. This was the largest bill ever shipped from St. Paul to 
any one house, and I doubt if Chicago can show a better record. 

Thus endeth the reading of the chapter. Long may the Hud- 
son Bay Fur Company live in the memory of the old settler. 



The Catholic Church in North Dakota. 

Rt. Rev. Bishop Shanley. 

The following notes on the early history of the Catholic 
church in North Dakota are written for the two-fold purpose of 
preserving the truth, and of enabling the future historian of our 
state to compile an accurate record of the interesting doings of 
the pioneers in this field. The facts related in these notes may 
be taken as reliable. They are drawn from the letters of Lord 
Selkirk, the founder of the Winnipeg colony; of Bishop Plessis, 
of Quebec, who sent the Catholic missionaries to the Red river 
country; of Father Provencher, the first missionary in this land, 
and first bishop of St. Boniface, Manitoba ; from the life of Pro- 
vencher, by Dugas; the "Memoirs of Archbishop Tache," the 
"Catholic Directory" (an official year book of the church), the 
church records of Pembina, the personal recollections of Father 
Lacombe, who came to Pembina in 1849, and who is now vicar 
general of the diocese of St. Albert, residing at Calgary, and 
from other equally trustworthy sources. 

These notes were written by me in February, March and 
April, 1902, and published in the "Grand Forks Herald." 

A writer in volume I of the North Dakota Historical Society's 
publications, printed in 1907, has borrowed very liberally from 
my work, without giving any credit. This remark is necessary 
to protect myself from the possible charge of stealing my own 



The Catholic church entered North Dakota about the same 
time and in the same way that it entered Manitoba. A brief 
sketch of the first settlements in that place and of the establish- 
ment of the church there is, therefore, not out of place in these 

The Red river country was discovered in 1734 by the French 
chevalier, Gauthier Varennes de la Verandrye, who left Lake 
Nipigon in 1731, passed by Rainy lake, where he built Fort St. 
Pierre, came to Lake of the "Woods, where he built Fort St. 
Charles, and arrived in 1734 at the mouth of the Winnipeg river, 
where he built Fort Maurepas, leaving men in the different forts 
to carry on trade in furs with the Indians. The chevalier was 
the first competitor with the Hudson Bay Company, to whose 
business he did no inconsiderable damage in a territory which 
from 1670 to the time of de la Verandrye 's arrival had been 
commercially tributary to the company, but which does not ap- 
pear to have been ever visited by any of the company's agents, 
the Indians carrying their furs from the interior to the com- 
pany's posts on the sea coast. 

After the cession of Canada to England in 1763, de la Veran- 
drye 's forts and trading posts were abandoned, and the French 
traders, with rare exceptions, ceased visiting the country until 
1784. In the winter of 1783-84 some French-Canadian capitalists 
of Montreal organized the Compagnie du Nord-Ouest the North- 
west Company which took possession of the immense tract be- 
tween the American line and Lake Athabasca, and the Ottawa 
river and the Pacific ocean. By the beginning of the nineteenth 
century the new company had become a most formidable rival of 
the Hudson Bay people, whose shares, once held at $200 piastres, 
were sold in 1808 at $50, and who in self protection was forced 
to leave the seaboard and go into the interior in search of busi- 
ness, building forts and trading posts wherever the Northwest 
company was located. The employes of the Hudson Bay com- 
pany were chiefly Scotch and English, those of the Northwest 
mainly French-Canadians. In 1806 the Northwest company had 
in its different forts and trading posts and traveling among the 
Indians more than 1,200 employes, most of them French-Cana- 
dians. Some of these employes, nearly all of whom were Catho- 


lies, married Indian women. This is the origin of the compara- 
tively few half-breed families who were in the country when the 
missionaries arrived. According to Fathers Provencher and 
Dumoulin, the first missionaries, the vast bulk of the population 
at their coming was Indian. The Sauteux and Cris lived in the 
neighborhood of the Red river. From the Red river west to the 
Rocky mountains, between the Assiniboine and the Saskatche- 
wan, were Cris, Assiniboines and Blackfeet while north of the 
Saskatchewan were some Cris and the Montagnaises. After the 
coming of the priests marriages between the whites and the na- 
tives became more frequent, and the great increase of the half 
breed race dates from that period. 

Whatever some may say of the Canadian voyageurs, it seems 
quite certain that their general influence on the natives was good. 
At least they prepared the way for the missionaries, who found 
little difficulty in making good and fervent converts among them. 

In the year 1810 a Scotch Protestant gentleman, Thomas 
Douglas, better known as Lord Selkirk, who owned about 40 
per cent of the Hudson Bay Company's stock, obtained a grant 
of the lands along the Red river which the company claimed, and 
immediately set about establishing a colony there. The North- 
west company at once set up a claim to the lands in question. 
Nevertheless, Selkirk's agent. Miles McDonell, left Scotland in 
the spring of 1811 with a number of families en route for the Red 
river, where they arrived in the autumn of 1812. The place 
chosen for the colony was about forty miles from the mouth of 
the river. In the beginning of 1813 the colony was composed of 
about 100 persons, and in September, 1814, it numbered nearly 
200 souls. 

Meanwhile the Northwest company, who had protested against 
Selkirk's right to the lands, endeavored to arouse the Indians 
against the colonists, but finding their efforts futile, the principal 
officers of the company met at Fort William on Lake Superior in 
the spring of 1814 and resolved on the destruction of Selkirk's 
settlement, which was actually effected the following June, some 
of the colonists being sent to Upper Canada, others going to the 
country north of Lake Winnipeg. Selkirk, who was in Europe 



at that time, learned of the destruction of his colony only when 
he reached New York in the autumn of 1815. 

The north-bound refugees met Colin Robertson, a trusted 
clerk of Selkirk, at a Hudson Bay post, and were induced by him 
to return to the Red river, where new colonists soon arrived from 
Scotland, and in the autumn of that year, 1815, the colony again 
numbered 200 souls. 

The troubles with the Northwest company, which followed in 
1816, and the causes which produced them, are a subject of con- 
troversy, and do not enter into the purpose of these notes. Suf- 
fice it to say that on June 19 Selkirk's colony was destroyed the 
second time by the Northwest company, and the colonists brought 
as prisoners to Fort William. 

Upon hearing of the first disaster to his colony Lord Selkirk 
hastened from New York to Canada to secure troops for the 
protection of his colony. In January, 1816, Selkirk heard of the 
return of his colonists to their farms, and in the spring of the 
same year with about 100 soldiers he left Montreal for the Red 
river. Envoys whom he had sent to announce his coming to the 
colonists, hearing on their way of the second disaster, met Sel- 
kirk at Sault Sainte Marie, and gave him the details. Selkirk 
proceeded to Fort William, took the fort on August 14, and estab- 
lished his winter quarters there, a large detachment of his sol- 
diers going to the settlement by way of Red lake, an unusual route, 
to avoid detection by the enemy. They reached the Red river at 
the end of December. On January 6, 1817, taking advantage of 
a raging blizzard, Selkirk's troops surprised and captured Fort 
Douglas, and re-established his authority in the colony. The fol- 
lowing spring Lord Selkirk arrived in the colony. He induced 
many of the Canadian and Scotch settlers to return. He divided 
the land among the soldiers, and his other followers, and pre- 
pared to return to Canada in the fall of that year. 

Such was the political and social condition of the Red river 
country in the year 1817, the year preceding the establishment 
there of the Catholic church. 

Towards the end of October, 1817, Lord Selkirk left the Red 
river to return to Canada. From his dealings with the people of 
the country, Canadians, half breeds and Indians, he had become 


profoundly convinced of the need of religious influence for the 
success of his work. Moreover, many of the Canadian voyageurs 
clamored for priests. Lord Selkirk took advantage of these good 
dispositions, and advised the people to address a formal request 
for missionaries to the bishop of Quebec, promising to use his 
influence to secure its granting. 

Mr. Samuel Gale, who had spent one summer at Red river, 
and who was an intimate friend of Bishop Plessis, visited the 
bishop in January, 1818, at Lord Selkirk's request, to urge the 
appointment of missionaries. A few days later the formal peti- 
tion of the Red river Catholics was presented to the bishop by 
Mr. Charles de Lotbiniere. On February llth, 1818, Bishop 
Plessis addressed to Mr. Gale the following letter: 

"Quebec, Feb. 11, 1818. 

"Sir: I have received from M. de Lotbiniere the request that 
you have had the kindness to transmit to me in behalf of the 
inhabitants on the Red river. No one is more convinced than I 
of the incalculable benefits that can result from the establishing 
of a permanent mission in that place, abandoned up to the pres- 
ent to all the disorders that ignorance and irreligion beget. I 
have, therefore, decided to second with all my might a project 
so praiseworthy, and in which you have taken so active a part. 
Among my clergy there will be found priests who will consecrate 
themselves to this good work, with no other motive than that of 
procuring the glory of God and the salvation of those poor 

"Permit me to thank you for the encouragement you give to 
this enterprise, and to subscribe myself, etc., etc., 

" J. Octave (Plessis), 

"Bishop of Quebec." 

It is to be noted that two years before, in 1816, Bishop 
Plessis had commissioned Father Tabeau, the parish priest of 
Boucherville, Canada, to visit the Red river and to report on the 
advisability of opening there a permanent mission. Owing to 
the troubles in the colony, Father Tabeau failed to reach the 
Red river. It is quite probable that the Northwest company in- 


fluenced his views somewhat. At any rate, in his report to 
Bishop Plessis, which reached the bishop only in March, 1818, he 
opposed the founding of a permanent mission there, and sug- 
gested that for the time being it were better to send a priest once 
a year to visit the trading posts, and to wait for the complete 
pacification of the country before establishing permanent mis- 
sionaries in it. 

But Bishop Plessis thought otherwise, influenced, no doubt, 
by the following letter from Lord Selkirk, written in 1816 : 

"Montreal, April 16th, 1816. 
"To His Grace, Mgr. Plessis, Bishop of Quebec. 

"Monseigneur: I have been informed by Mr. Miles McDon- 
nell, former governor of the Red river, that in a conversation 
which he had with Your Grace last autumn he has suggested to 
you to send a missionary into this country to give the helps of re- 
ligion to a large number of Canadians, who are established there, 
and who live after the manner of the savages, with the Indian 
women whom they have married. I am convinced that an intelli- 
gent ecclesiastic would do an incalculable good among those peo- 
ple, in whom the religious sentiment is not extinct. With the 
greatest satisfaction I would co-operate with you for the success 
of such a work; and if Your Grace wishes to choose a suitable 
person for the undertaking I do not hesitate to assure him of my 
consideration and to offer him all the help Your Grace may 
judge necessary. I have heard that Your Grace intended to send 
this spring two ecclesiastics to Lake Superior and to Rainy lake 
to meet the voyageurs who are in the service of the Northwest 
company, when they return from the interior. Since all those 
people are in great need of spiritual help, I am happy to learn 
this news; nevertheless, if you permit me to express an opinion, 
I think that a missionary residing at the Red River would better 
realize your pious design; for from that place he could easily 
visit during the winter the trading posts on Rainy lake and on 
Lake Superior at the time when the people is assembled in great 

"Meanwhile, if Your Grace does not find this arrangement 
practicable at present, I believe that an ecclesiastic who would 


be ready to leave Montreal at the opening of navigation to go to 
Rainy lake could do a great deal of good. Mr. McDonnell must 
put himself en route in his canoe immediately after the ice melts, 
so that he may arrive at the Red river towards the end of May 
or the beginning of June. He would be very happy to have with 
him the company of a missionary who might sojourn some weeks 
with the Canadians of the Red river before the return of the 
voyageurs of the northwest to Rainy lake and Lake Superior. 
"I have the honor to be, etc., etc., Selkirk." 

The bishop's answer to the above letter has probably been 
lost. At least Dugas, in his life of Bishop Provencher, to whom 
I am indebted for the above correspondence, makes no mention 
of it. But by the 21st of February, 1818, ten days after his letter 
to Mr. Gale, Bishop Plessis had chosen his missionaries for the 
Red river. Rev. Joseph Norbert Provencher, pastor of Kamou- 
raska, in the diocese of Quebec, and Rev. Joseph Severe Dumou- 
lin, who, as we shall soon see, was the first priest, whether resi- 
dent or missionary, in North Dakota. 

Bishop Plessis having chosen his missionaries, wrote to Lord 
Selkirk : 

"My Lord: Nothing could better meet my views than the 
request brought to me last January by Mr. Gale in behalf of the 
inhabitants of the Red river. I am filled with consolation at the 
thought of the solid establishment of a Catholic mission which 
may become of incalculable importance to the vast territory sur- 
rounding it. The protection of Your Lordship, the interest taken 
in it by the governor-in-chief, the zeal of the most reputable citi- 
zens of Montreal, the subscriptions already received, all those 
things convince me that Divine Providence favors the enterprise. 
On my part, I could not see with indifference so large a number 
of souls, redeemed at the price of the blood of Jesus Christ, lost 
every day for the lack of having some one to form their faith 
and direct their morals. 

"The two priests whom I send there with a catechist will es- 
teem themselves very happy if the Father of Mercies deign to 
accept their success and give some blessings to their labors." 


The catechist mentioned in the above was Mr. William Edge, 
the first school teacher in North Dakota. He had charge of the 
school which Father Dumoulin opened in Pembina, of which men- 
tion shall be made later. 

To provide for the stability and maintenance of the new 
mission Lord Selkirk executed in due form two contracts, by the 
first of which he gave twenty-five acres to the mission for a 
church ; the second conveying to the mission a tract of land four 
miles in length by five miles in width. These contracts are signed 
by Lord Selkirk, J. 0. Plessis, Bishop of Quebec; Roux, priest; 
J. N. Provencher, priest ; Severe Dumoulin, priest ; S. de Beaujeu, 
priest, and H. Heney. 

The bishop of Quebec gave Father Provencher the powers of 
a vicar general, and drew up for his guidance in his new difficult 
mission an admirable letter of instructions, which, notwithstand- 
ing its length, I translate in full. It shows the prudence and 
knowledge of Bishop Plessis. It is entitled, " Instructions Given 
by Mgr. J. 0. Plessis to MM. J. N. Provencher and J. N. S. 
Dumoulin, Missionary Priests for the Territories of the North- 

"1. The missionaries must consider the first object of their 
mission to be to withdraw from barbarism and from the disorders 
consequent thereon the savage nations spread over the vast 

"2. The second object (of this mission) is to give their at- 
tention to the bad Christians who have adopted the customs of 
the savages, and who live in licentiousness and in forgetfulness 
of their duties. 

"3. Persuaded that the preaching of the gospel is the most 
assured means of obtaining these happy results they shall neglect 
no occasion to inculcate the gospel's principles and maxims, 
whether in their private conversations or in their public instruc- 

"4. To make themselves at once useful to the natives of the 
country to which they have been sent they shall apply themselves 
from the moment of their arrival to the study of the savage lan- 
guages, and shall endeavor to reduce those \anguages to regular 


principles so as to be able to publish a grammar after some years 
of residence. 

''5. They shall prepare for baptism with all possible haste 
the infidel women who are living in concubinage with Christians 
in order to change those irregular unions into legitimate mar- 

"6. They shall devote themselves with particular care to the 
Christian education of the children, and to this end they shall 
establish schools and catechism classes in all the settlements they 
shall have occasion to visit. 

"7. In all places remarkable either by their position, or by 
the transit of the voyageurs, or by the gatherings of the savages, 
they shall take care to plant high crosses, as it were, to take pos- 
session of those places in the name of the Catholic religion. 

"8. They shall often repeat to the people to whom they are 
sent how severely this religion enjoins peace, meekness, and 
obedience to the laws of both state and church. 

"9. They shall make known to them the advantages they 
possess in living under the government of His British Majesty, 
teaching them by word and example the respect and fidelity they 
owe to their sovereign, accustoming them to offer to God fervent 
prayers for the prosperity of His Most Gracious Majesty, of his 
august family, and of his empire. 

"10. They shall maintain a perfect equilibrium between the 
reciprocal claims of the two companies the Northwest and the 
Hudson's Bay remembering that they are sent solely for the 
spiritual welfare of the people from whose civilization the advan- 
tage of both companies must result. 

"11. They shall fix their abode near Fort Douglas on the Red 
river, shall build there a church, a dwelling and a school; they 
shall derive their support as far as possible from the lands given 
to them. Although this river as well as Lake Winnipeg, 
into which it empties, is in the territory claimed by the Hudson 
Bay company, they shall not be the less zealous for the salvation 
of the clerks, employes, and voyageurs in the service of the North- 
west company, taking care to go whithersoever the care of souls 
shall call them. 

"12. They shall give us frequent and regular information 


of all that can interest, retard or favor the purposes of the mis- 
sion. If, notwithstanding the most impartial conduct, they find 
themselves hampered in the exercise of their functions, they shall 
not abandon their mission before having received our orders. 

" J. 0. Plessis, 
"Bishop of Quebec." 

Guided by those instructions, empowered by the proper church 
authority, to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and protected 
by Lord Selkirk, Father Provencher bade farewell to his parish- 
ioners of Kamouraska April 16th, 1818, and set forth to plant 
the church on the banks of the Red River of the North. 

At noon on Tuesday, May 19, 1818, the first missionaries of 
the Red river, Joseph Norbert Provencher and Sever Norbert 
Dumoulin with the catechist, bade adieu to Canada. En route they 
wrote to Bishop Plessis from Petite Nation, May 24; Drummond 
island, Lake Huron, June 8; Pointe Meuron (Fort William), 
June 20 and June 23, and Rainy Lake July 6. On July 15 at 
Rainy Lake they planted a large cross and baptized seventeen 

The canoes left Rainy Lake the 6th of July, and on the 14th 
they were at the mouth of the Winnipeg river. The missionaries 
halted there the greater part of the day and baptized sixteen 
children the first baptisms in the Red river country. The 15th 
of July they entered the mouth of the Red river. 

On the morning of the 16th of July a messenger on horseback 
made the rounds of the colony, to notify the people to assemble 
at Fort Douglas about 4 o'clock that afternoon to welcome the 
missionaries. At 5 o'clock p. m., the 16th of July, 1818, Fathers 
Provencher and Dumoulin stepped on the banks of the Red river 
at Fort Douglas, and the Catholic church began in the immense 
region now known as North Dakota, Manitoba, Assinobia, Al- 
berta, Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Mackenzie and Keewatin. 

The whole colony was assembled at the landing, and Father 
Provencher in a touching address at once made known to them 
the object of his mission. He announced the times at which ser- 
vices would be held, and in conclusion he requested the mothers 


to come to the fort the following day with their children under 
sixteen years of age to have them baptized. 

Fort Douglas, as St. Boniface was then called, was on the 
right bank of the Ked river. The hospitality of the fort was ex- 
tended to the missionaries. A large room in the fort served as a 
temporary chapel. 

The first Sunday after their arrival a high mass was cele- 
brated in this cradle of Catholicity in the far northwest. Father 
Provencher being the celebrant and preacher, while Father Du- 
moulin constituted the choir. The preacher announced that on 
the following day the work of instructing the people in religion 
would begin. Adults and children were invited to attend these 
instructions at Fort Douglas twice a day. He also urged the 
colonists to take immediate steps toward providing a dwelling 
for the missionaries. 

The following day, July 20, 1818, Father Provencher wrote 
to Bishop Plessis : 

"We are at our destination. We arrived here at 5 o'clock 
p. m., the 16th of July. We were all very well received by Mr. 
McDonell, governor of the place, who seems to be a good man, 
and who is a Catholic. It is said that he is to leave here this 
fall. I shall be sorry. My last letter was dated from Rainy lake, 
whence we departed July 6. Thence we descended Rainy Lake 
river, passed Lake of the Woods and entered Winnipeg river at 
the point where Mr. Keveney was killed. I saw his bones, which 
were covered only with wood. 

"From Lake of the Woods we fell into the Winnipeg river, 
remarkable for its windings, its rapids, its falls, its portages. It 
brought us to the lake of the same name. There we found a fort 
of the Northwest company. We remained there three-fourths of 
a day and baptized sixteen children. 

* * At the mouth of the Winnipeg river we met the canoes from 
Athabasca, with about 150 men. I had wished to meet them at 
Rainy lake, but they reached there only fifteen days after our 
departure. We have announced to them our visit for next year. 

"We have been very well received everywhere. From Winni- 
peg river to Fort Douglas we have traversed eighteen leagues of 
lake and have ascended the Red river eight leagues. 


"This country is really beautiful. The river is sufficiently 
wide. It is bordered with oaks, elms, ivy, poplars, etc. Behind 
this border of timber are boundless prairies. The soil appears 
to be excellent. Wood for building is rare, at least good wood. 
"We must set about building. A chapel is a pressing need, be- 
cause there is no fit place for the people to assemble. 

"The site for the church is beautiful. It is situated facing 
the forts of the Northwest and Hudson Bay companies, from 
eight to ten acres distant from each, and about fifteen acres from 
Fort Douglas. At present there are no savages here. Every one 
seems pleased with our arrival, and all appear to be desirous to 
profit by our instructions." 

At a later period Father Provencher, speaking of the agri- 
cultural conditions in the Red river in 1818, said: 

"The cultivated fields were not much larger than garden 
beds. The settlers planted as much to raise seed as to enjoy the 
fruits of their labor; for it was very expensive to import grain 
into the country. But the little they raised in their garden-bed 
farms in 1818 was destroyed by a disaster which led to the estab- 
lishing of the Catholic church in North Dakota." 

On the 3rd of August, three weeks after the arrival of the mis- 
sionaries, clouds of grasshoppers descended on the fields and in 
a trice devoured nearly everything. The few grains of wheat re- 
maining barely sufficed to seed the garden-bed farms the follow- 
ing spring. To add to the misfortune, the grasshoppers deposited 
their eggs, thus insuring another scourge the next year. 

"On the 12th of August there arrived a number of families 
sent by Lord Selkirk. These families, finding the fields ravaged 
by the grasshoppers, refused to remain at Fort Douglas. Fear- 
ing a famine in the winter they went up the river to Pembina, 
where a few Canadians and half-breeds were already settled. 

Its proximity to the hunting grounds attracted many hunters 
to this place each autumn. They passed the winter there with 
their families, leaving in the spring to spend the summer on the 
prairies. From Pembina Father Provencher obtained his supply 
of meat during his first years on the Red river. 

The growth of the Pembina settlement necessitated the pres- 
ence of a priest there. Pembina became for a time more import- 


ant than St. Boniface, the name by which the Fort Douglas colony 
is to be henceforth known. In fact, St. Boniface was for a time 
almost abandoned. Both companies built forts at Pembina, and 
the people clamored for a resident priest. Provencher, therefore, 
sent Father Dumoulin to Pembina in the month of September, 
1818, with instructions to pass the winter there. The month of 
September, 1818, marks the birth of the Catholic church in North 

In January, 1819, Father Provencher visited Pembina to ex- 
amine into the condition of the new parish. He found everything 
in excellent order. A school with sixty pupils in attendance was 
already in operation under the charge of William Edge, and 
preparations were being made to build a chapel and presbytery 
in the spring. Since his arrival from September to January 
Father Dumoulin had baptized fifty-two persons and rehabili- 
tated a large number of marriages. He had also succeeded in 
grouping around the site of the new chapel about 300 souls. 
About this time he wrote to Bishop Plessis: 

"I have here (Pembina) 300 persons with me, whilst the vicar 
general (Provencher) has only fifty at St. Boniface." 

Father Provencher also wrote to the bishop: "That post 
(Pembina) is for the present very important. From there I with 
all the colony receive all my provisions. I shall continue to 
build there." 

Again in the month of July. 1819, Father Provencher writes : 
"My chapel at St. Boniface is almost squared. It will be 80x35 
feet. At Pembina we have a shop (une boutique) 24x18, a 
presbytery 40x27 and we have hauled the timber for a chapel 
60x30. When I learn from your Grace about the lines which 
place Pembina on American territory disquiets me a little, and 
disarranges my plans. Nevertheless I shall continue to build 
there, for Father Dumoulin must pass next winter there." 

In June, 1819, Father Dumoulin went to Rainy Lake to give 
a mission to the voyageurs from Athabasca who gathered at the 
lake every spring. Returning to Pembina in August he learned 
that the grasshoppers had again devastated the St. Boniface 
fields, this time destroying all vegetation, even to the bark of 
the trees. Again was there an exodus from St. Boniface to Pern- 


bina. Father Provencher wrote the bishop: "Every one is busy 
looking for food. The families are abandoning St. Boniface to 
go to Pembina that they may be nearer to the hunting grounds. 
We are put to great expense for food. Having nothing but meat 
to eat, we require much of it, and we lose a great part of our 
time in carting this meat from the prairie. And so the work 

The schools at St. Boniface and Pembina continue to flourish. 
In the spring of 1819 Father Dumoulin wrote to Bishop Plessis 
that most of the children attending the Pembina school knew 
how to read, and knew by heart the letter of the Catechism. At 
St. Boniface Father Provencher even had a class in Latin. 

In June, 1819, Father Provencher wrote to the bishop: "See 
to it that the missionary and the catechist who come here next 
spring know English so that they may be useful to the Catholics 
who speak only that language, and that they may also gain from 
the Protestants more honor for religion and its ministers. It is 
moreover necessary that those who come here be men whom one 
can place anywhere ; for here it is necessary to fuse the functions 
of Martha and Mary. One must direct the spiritual and the tem- 
poral. If they are men who know nothing of building or of 
directing others in such matters they are of no use. The first 
one who offers is not fit to work here. We require grave and 
serious men, and men above all suspicion. In a word, we need 
men of judgment and ability, but at the same time full of zeal 
and piety. I consider Father Dumoulin a good missionary." 

The poverty of the colony obliged Father Provencher to 
spend the winter of 1819-20 in Pembina with Father Dumoulin. 
Almost every one had left St. Boniface for the winter. He re- 
mained in Pembina until May. In the month of July Dumoulin 
went to Hudson bay to visit the Catholics in those regions, Pro- 
vencher remaining in charge of St. Boniface and Pembina. On 
August 7, 1820, another missionary, Father Pierre Destrois- 
maisons, accompanied by a catechist, Mr. Sauve, arrived from 
Quebec, and on August 16, Father Provencher left for Quebec 
to present his report of the missions to his bishop. 

Just before his departure he had seen the colony destroyed 
for the third time by the grasshoppers. Seed wheat had been 


brought at great expense from Prairie du Chien. The season 
was most favorable, everything promised well; past misfortunes 
were forgotten, when on July 26, innumerable grasshoppers again 
covered the whole colony. Discouragement seized on everyone, 
and many spoke of leaving the Red river forever. 

When Lord Selkirk heard of the warm reception of the mis- 
sionaries in his settlement he wrote to the Bishop of Quebec : 

"Monseigneur: During my recent trip through Upper Can- 
ada I had the pleasure to receive letters from the Red river an- 
nouncing to me the arrival of Fathers Provencher and Dumoulin. 
These letters, as well as the verbal report which I have received 
from M. de Lorimier on my arrival here, convince me that the 
inhabitants, and above all the old Canadian voyageurs with their 
half-breed families, have manifested the best disposition to profit 
by the instructions of the missionaries, and that the savages also 
have shown them such respect as gives reason to believe that 
they will exhibit the same docility. I hope that this happy 
presage may be confirmed by the report that the missionaries 
have no doubt made to your lordship. 

''Reflecting on the circumstances which have been communi- 
cated to me, it has seemed to me that if they were known in 
England, one might obtain assistance from there which would 
give a more solid support to the establishment of the mission. 
There are many Catholics of the most distinguished families of 
England (and I doubt not that one would find some Protestants) 
who would glory in contributing to the maintenance of a mis- 
sion of this kind, once they were assured of the good that may 
result from it. If I were authorized to communicate this assur- 
ance on the part of your lordship based on the report of the 
missionaries themselves, I have full confidence that one would 
find in England the means to produce a most favorable result. 
I have heard recently that there is some probability that Upper 
Canada may be erected into a separate diocese. If this division 
takes place I hope that the Red river may still remain in the 
diocese of Quebec. It would pain me indeed if this nascent foun- 
dation did not remain under the jurisdiction of your lordship, 
under which it has so happily begun. 



"I remember that in Quebec last spring your lordship sug- 
gested that in the course of time those distant countries would 
become an independent foundation; but pending the increase of 
population necessary to support without outside help a separate 
establishment, it seems to me that all those savage countries 
ought to be subject to Quebec, since the Catholics there speak 
only French, and since, for that reason, Upper Canada could 
not form subjects fitted to fulfill the duties of the ministry in 
those regions. 

"I have the honor to be, etc., etc., Selkirk." 

Father Provencher left the Red river August 16, 1820, on a 
trip to Canada. Bishop Plessis had been in Eome in the spring 
of the same year, and, without informing Father Provencher, 
had induced the Holy See to appoint him Coadjutor-Bishop of 
Quebec, with the title of Bishop of Juliopolis, an ancient episco- 
pal see in Galatia. The papal bull making this appointment is 
dated Feb. 1, 1820. When Father Provencher presented him- 
self to Bishop Plessis in the end of October, the bishop handed 
him the official Roman document, conferring on him the new and 
unexpected dignity. Provencher protested long and stoutly, but 
in vain, against accepting the burden of the episcopate. A con- 
fidential letter written by him to Bishop Plessis on the subject 
January 16, 1821, gives us a clear insight into the character of 
this true missionary priest. 

Among other things he writes: "What can this poor bishop 
of Juliopolis (such was his title), without learning, without vir- 
tue, without experience, without knowledge of business affairs, 
do ? Naturally timid, loving a retired and solitary life, he might, 
indeed, make a poor monk, engrossed in sanctifying himself; 
but never can he make a man of affairs ; never above all a bishop, 
who has time to think of himself only after he has thought of 
others. You have shown him a road that leads him to his de- 
struction, and that shall lead all to loss. It is a question of found- 
ing a church. Have you thought of that? Poor church; how 
badly founded you shall be! In truth I do not see how I can 
accept a burden so plainly beyond my strength. You have too 
good an opinion of me, Monseigneur; you believe me capable 


of all things ; you think that you know me, and I, too, thought that 
you knew me. Reared by you, so to speak, could I have ever 
suspected that you could dream of elevating me so high? (Eleve 
par vour, pour ainsidire, aurais-je jamais pu soupconner que 
vous songiez a m' clever si haut.) Entering the ranks of the 
clergy, I have always allowed myself to be guided by my supe- 
riors, without hesitating or murmuring. I have done this pas- 
sably well, I believe. Distrusting my youth, and confiding in 
your prudence, I have sacrificed everything to fulfill, I will not 
say your orders, for you have never given me a command, but 
your known will. I do not complain of you. You have always 
given me more than I deserved. I have had desirable places. 
Even in the Red river country, although it was less advantageous 
from every point of view, I have always known your good will 
towards me. You made me vicar general. That was already 
too much. I accepted the office because you wished to give a lit- 
tle lustre to that new mission. Some murmured at my promo- 
tion. They were altogether wrong. Why did you not stop at 
that ? Why put me at the head of the clergy when I can scarcely 
hold myself up in my actual state. My God ! Why am I not still 
in the simple rank of the vicaires! (assistant priests). Then no 
one would think of me. Alas! As I advance more in age than 
in virtue, must I regret my state in life to which I have been at- 
tracted since childhood? Do not believe that it is fear of suf- 
ferings and fatigue that makes me speak thus. I did not become 
a priest to amass riches. I will go, if necessary, and consecrate 
my youth to the Red river, but as a simple priest. Speak, and 
I will obey. But the bishopric is another thing. Never can I 
persuade myself that I was born to be raised to so high a rank. 
Rome has spoken. I am full of respect for the Chair of St. Peter. 
But Rome has spoken on your word. The Holy Father does not 
know me, and I am sure he never would have appointed me, if 
he knew me. 

"I open my heart to you today, after having reflected natur- 
ally before God. You are the only one to whom I can speak 
frankly, and you are against me." 

In another letter, dated March 19, 1821, Father Provencher 
assured the bishop of his acceptance of the office in these words : 


"Trembling I accept the burden imposed upon me in punishment 
of my sins." He was consecrated bishop in the parish church at 
Three Rivers May 12, 1822, the Sunday before the Feast of the 
Ascension, and set out for the Red river on the 1st of June. 

During his sojourn of nearly two years in Canada Bishop 
Provencher had not neglected the religious interests of the Red 
river colony. His one desire was to obtain good priests for his 
missions. He visited the ecclesiastical seminaries, and exhorted 
the young priests and students to volunteer for the work; but 
despite all his efforts he succeeded in securing only one candi- 
date, Mr. John Harper, a student in the seminary of Quebec, 
twenty-one years of age, who was ordained priest at St. Boniface 
by Bishop Provencher November 1, 1824 the first priest or- 
dained in the northwest. Father Harper remained in the dio- 
cese of St. Boniface until August, 1831, doing excellent service 
for the missions. For several years he conducted a very good 
school at St. Boniface. 

Bishop Provencher reached St. Boniface August 7, 1822, to 
face new and unexpected troubles. The edict had gone forth 
from the Hudson Bay company that the priest must be with- 
drawn from the flourishing mission of Pembina, for the reason 
that it was on American territory. The death of Lord Selkirk, 
April 8, 1820, which led to a consolidation of the Hudson Bay 
and Northwest companies in June, 1821, deprived the world of a 
great man and the Catholic church in the Red river country of 
a very true friend. Selkirk's legal executor, his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Halkett, visited the colony in the spring of 1822. He re- 
mained three weeks at the Red river, and had left for Hudson 
bay only a few days before the return of the bishop, for whom 
he left a letter making known his intentions on the subject of 
Pembina. In this letter Halkett reprimanded the missionaries 
severely for having established the Pembina mission, maintain- 
ing that it injured St. Boniface, and that in so doing they had not 
corresponded with the wishes of Lord Selkirk. Bishop Proven- 
cher answered Halkett 's letter August 10, sending his reply by 
courier to Hudson bay. He wrote : 

"The Bishop of Quebec gave me an intimation about your 
intentions about Pembina before my departure from Quebec. 


"I see clearly that the reasons you have for abandoning that 
post are good, but the execution is not so easy as you think. 
Perhaps one may accomplish it by degrees. 

"The emigration (from Pembina) is absolutely impossible 
this year, because no one is anxious to come and establish him- 
self at St. Boniface to die here inevitably of hunger. For from 
St. Boniface being able to support the emigrants from Pembina, 
it will be necessary for a part of the inhabitants of St. Boniface 
to go to Pembina again this winter to find whereon to live. 
We cannot leave that place this autumn. At the earliest we may 
abandon it next spring. From now to that time we shall try to 
make the people of that locality understand the necessity of 
moving from American territory. 

"When we established ourselves there we could not foresee 
that a treaty between England and the United States would 
place Pembina on the American side. The late Lord Selkirk, in 
asking for Catholic priests, meant, no doubt, that it was for the 
instruction of all the Catholics of the place, and above all the 
Canadian half-breeds. Now the greater part of the Catholics and 
all the half-breeds were at Pembina, and absolutely could not 
leave that place to come to St. Boniface, where they could not 
have lived. It was necessary to go to them there. The agents 
of the colony approved the plan at the time openly. We must 
suppose that they were sufficiently instructed as to Lord Sel- 
kirk's intentions to put us en rapport with them. We have made 
heavy expenditures at Pembina, because we were given to under- 
stand that Pembina would be maintained as well as St. Boniface. 
For four years no one has said a word against this arrangement, 
and this is what has drawn so many people to that point, who if 
they leave Pembina today will be more destitute than when ar- 
riving in the country. 

"I agree that it would have been better to have built at St. 
Boniface than at Pembina; but it was impossible for us to do 
so, for lack of provisions which it was very difficult to secure at 
St. Boniface. 

"Rest assured that I will do all in my power to make the 
colony prosper. For that I have in my hands only the arms of 


religion, which, indeed, are most strong. I will make the best 
possible use of them." 

In his reply to the above, dated August 30, Mr. Halkett tells 
the bishop that he hopes to see his views on Pembina adopted to 
the letter, and threatens to complain to the authorities in Eng- 
land, if there is any delay in executing his orders. 

In January, 1823, the bishop went to Pembina. He announced 
to the people that he was forced to recall Father Dumoulin, and 
that they must remain without a priest to instruct them. Some of 
the people determined to stay in Pembina; others went to the 
Canadian side and founded the Parish of St. Francis Xavier, and 
others went to Fort Snelling, Minn., and eventually founded St. 
Paul. Father Dumoulin, broken-hearted at the ruin of all his 
labors, obtained permission from the Bishop of Quebec to go to 
Canada, with the firm intention of returning to the Red river 
after a short vacation. He left in August, 1823. He never saw 
the Red river again. He died a holy death in Canada in 1853. 

Beltrami, writing from Pembina August 10, 1823, says: "The 
only people now remaining (in Pembina) are the Bois-brules, 
who have taken possession of the huts which the settlers aban- 
boned. Two Catholic priests had also established themselves here, 
but as neither the government nor the company gave them any 
means of subsistence, they went away; and the church, con- 
structed like all the other buildings of trunks of trees, is already 
falling into ruin. * * * Lower down, at Fort Douglas, there 
is still a bishop, Monsieur Provencais. His merit and virtues are 
the theme of general praise. I was told that he does not mingla 
politics with religion, that his zeal is not the offspring of ambi- 
tion, that his piety is pure, his heart simple and generous. He 
does not give ostentatious bounties at the expense of his creditors ; 
he is hospitable to strangers; and dissimulation never sullies his 
mind or his holy and paternal ministry. Yesterday * * * 
the boundary which separates the territories of the two nations 
was formally laid down, in the name of the government and the 
president of the United States." 

Keating, who was the geologist and historiographer of the 
United States Commission under Major Long in 1823, which 
determined the boundary line, writes of Pembina: "The Hudson 


Bay company had a fort here until the spring of 1823, when 
observations, made by their own astronomers, led them to sus- 
pect that it was south of the boundary line, and they therefore 
abandoned it, removing all that could be sent down the river 
with advantage. The Catholic clergymen who had been sup- 
ported at this place was at the same time removed to Fort Doug- 
las, and a large and neat chapel built by the settlers for their 
accommodation is now fast going to devay. The settlement con- 
sists of about 350 souls, residing in sixty log houses or cabins." 
Keating also states that the people "appeared well satisfied that 
the whole of the settlement of Pembina, with the exception of a 
single log house, standing near the left bank of the river, would 
be included in the territory of the United States. ' ' The members 
of the expedition were entertained by Mr. Nolen, whose daugh- 
ters afterward taught school in St. Boniface. 

Joseph Severe Norbert Dumoulin, the first missionary priest 
in North Dakota, was born at St. Anne, Isle of Montreal, Decem- 
ber 5, 1793. He was educated in the seminary of Nicolet, and 
ordained priest February 23, 1817. He left Canada with Father 
Provencher for the Red river missions May 19, 1818, and in Sep- 
tember of the same year settled in Pembina, by command of 
Father Provencher, as pastor of all the Indians, half-breeds and 
Canadians thereabouts. He built there a presbytery and a church, 
and opened there under charge of William Edge, the first school 
in this state. He was universally loved. "Father Dumoulin," 
writes Bishop Provencher, "is a good missionary." 

The departure of Father Dumoulin for Canada left Bishop 
Provencher with one priest, Rev. Richard Destroismaisons, and 
one candidate for the priesthood, John Harper. Mr. Edge, first 
school teacher in Pembina, went back to Canada in 1820, and was 
succeeded by Mr. Sauve. Mr. Harper on his arrival took charge 
of the school at St. Boniface during the winter months. What 
became of Mr. Sauve the records fail to disclose. It is probable 
that he left the country when his school was closed in 1823. The 
care of the Pembina flock was not abandoned. Father Destrois- 
maisons continued to visit there at times, and in the spring Mr. 
Harper accompanied the hunters to the chase. The hunting was 
on the North Dakota prairies from the Red river to the Missouri. 


Wherever the chase led there went the priest, and it is safe to 
assert that the first missionaries, beginning with Dumoulin, had 
visited in these hunting expeditions nearly all of the state be- 
tween those two rivers. 

The good effected by the missionaries is told by the following 
extracts from the minutes of a meeting of the Hudson Bay Coun- 
cil held at York Factory July 2, 1825 : 

11 Great benefit being experienced from the benevolent and 
indefatigable exertions of the Catholic missionaries at Red river 
in welfare of the moral and religious instruction of its numerous 
followers, and it being observed with much satisfaction that the 
influence of the mission under the direction of the Right Rev- 
erend Bishop of Juliopolis has been uniformly directed to the best 
interests of the settlement and of the country at large, it is 

"Resolved, That in order to mark our approbation of such 
laudable and disinterested conduct on the part of said mission, it 
be recommended to the honorable committee that a sum of thirty 
pounds per annum be given towards its support." 

The struggling mission soon found use for the company's con- 
tributions. In the spring of 1825 the water in the Red river over- 
flowed its banks, inundating all the low places, but not doing 
great damage. Such a thing had not occurred since the arrival 
of the whites in the country. The Indians related, says Dugas, 
how one spring long ago the water had covered the prairies, but 
no one knew the date of that flood. On October 15, 1825, snow 
fell abundantly. The winter was one of the most severe ever 
experienced in the country. The oldest inhabitants remembered 
nothing like it in twenty-five years. Spring carne late. A cold 
north wind prevailed all through April. The snow began to melt 
about the first of May, and on May 5 the ice broke. The water 
was already over the river banks. The river continued to rise 
until May 20. It reached a height of forty feet above the ordinary 
summer level. Almost everything about St. Boniface was de- 
stroyed. Two hundred and fifty persons, most of them colonists 
whom Lord Selkirk had sent from Canada, left St. Boniface for 
the United States, some of them settling around Pembina, others 
going to Fort Snelling, near St. Paul. This is, I believe, the first 
Red river flood on record. The second flood of record occurred 


in 1852, and is graphically described by Bishop Provencher in a 
letter to Bishop Bourget, of Montreal. The water this time was 
eighteen inches lower than in 1826, but the damage done was in- 
calculably greater. The last flood of 1897 is fresh in the minds 
of not a few who read these notes. The writer has vivid recollec- 
tions of it. 

In 1827 Father Destroismaisons, the second pastor of the Pern- 
bina mission, which he visited at times from 1823 to 1827, returned 
to Canada. He was born at St. Pierre January 12, 1796, educated 
at the Seminary of Quebec, ordained to the priesthood October 
17, 1819, and came to the Red river in 1820. During his seven 
years on the mission Father Destroismaisons learned the Chip- 
pewa language, though he never labored in the Indian missions. 
He was a worthy successor of Father Dumoulin. After Father 
Destroismaison 's departure the care of Pembina devolved on Rev. 
John Harper. 

In January, 1829, Bishop Provencher opened a school for girls 
at St. Boniface. This school was given in charge to two young 
ladies named Nolen, residents of Pembina, whose father was an 
old inhabitant of the northwest, and Pembina 's most respected 
and prominent citizen. The young ladies seem to have been quite 
accomplished. They had been educated in the best schools in 
Canada. Thus North Dakota, perhaps, gave to Manitoba its first 
lady teachers. In August, 1830, Bishop Provencher again de- 
parted for Canada in search of priests, and to collect funds to 
build a cathedral, leaving young Father Harper in charge of the 
whole vast field. 

On his return trip Bishop Provencher was accompanied by 
Rev. George Anthony Belcourt, who had been ordained in Nicolet 
Seminary, and who has the distinguished honor of being the 
second resident priest in North Dakota. Father Belcourt arrived 
with the bishop at St. Boniface June 17, 1831. Father Harper 
then returned to Quebec. In 1833 Rev. Charles Poire and Rev. 
John Baptist Thibault were ordained at St. Boniface. Before 
coming to the missions Father Belcourt, who was gifted with rare 
linguistic talent, had applied himself to the study of the Algon- 
quin language, which closely resembles the Chippewa, and to 
him was assigned the Indian missions. He soon acquired so per- 


feet a knowledge of the language as to enable him to compose a 
grammar and dictionary, which were corrected and published 
after his death by Father Lacombe. He was for many years the 
teacher of Indian to the young missionaries. In 1838 another 
priest in the person of Rev. Arsene Mayrand was added to the 
missionary band, which was further augmented by the arrival in 
1841 of Rev. Jean Ed. Darveau, a most zealous and talented young 
priest, who was drowned in Lake Manitoba June 4, 1844. All of 
these clergymen attended at times to the Cathqlics at Pembina, 
and accompanied the hunter whenever they could from 1831 to 
1848, when Father Belcourt became resident pastor at Pembina. 
In 1837 Rev. Modeste Demers, who afterwards became first bishop 
of Vancouver, labored in the Red river missions. In 1838 Rev. 
Francis Norbert Blanchet, first bishop of Oregon City, spent some 
weeks on the Red river, leaving on July 10 with Father Demers 
to plant the church in Oregon by advice of Bishop Provencher. 
The journey of these two young priests from St. Boniface to 
Vancouver lasted four months and fourteen days. They reached 
Vancouver November 24. They were the first priests to cele- 
brate mass on the Saskatchewan. There is no evidence at hand to 
show that either of them officiated in North Dakota. 

In 1844 Bishop Provencher secured two more young priests, 
Rev. J. F. Lafleche, who in February, 1867, was consecrated 
coadjutor bishop of Three Rivers, to which see he succeeded 
April 30, 1870, dying July 14, 1898, and Father Bourassa. These 
gentlemen, accompanied by a small community of Grey Nuns, 
landed at St. Boniface June 21, 1844. On the 24th of June the 
following year came Father Aubert, an Oblate father, and Rev. 
Mr. Tache, the future archbishop of St. Boniface, who became 
coadjutor bishop of St. Boniface September 22, 1870, and who 
died at St. Boniface June 22, 1894, after forty-nine years of a 
most self-sacrificing and successful apostolate. Bishop Tache 
was a distant relative of de La Verandrye, the discoverer of the 
Red river country. In his valuable work, "Vingt Annes de Mis- 
sion dans Le Nord Ouest de L'Amerique," Bishop Tache gives it 
as his opinion that the first missionary of the diocese of St. Boni- 
face was a Father Messager. "It was he at least," writes Bishop 
Tache, "who in 1731 accompanied Varennes de La Verandrye in 


his first expedition. ' ' We have seen that de La Verandrye reached 
the Red river only in 1734. It is interesting, however, to know 
that there was a priest with him in 1731. In his report to the 
governor general of New France, de La Verandrye states that 
this priest, who, by the way, was a Jesuit, and whose name is 
spelled Messaiger, fell sick in 1733 and returned to Montreal that 
year with de La Verandrye 's nephew. He never visited the Red 

With the arrival of Fathers Aubert and Tache (who were or- 
dained at St. Boniface October 12, 1845), the future of the mis- 
sions was secured. These two gentlemen were members of a con- 
gregation of priests known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate 
whose superior had promised Bishop Provencher to supply him 
with the requisite number of priests to develop and care for the 
arduous missions of the north. Father Tache is of particular in- 
terest to the historian of the chuch in North Dakota, inasmuch 
as he labored in this state, and was for many years vicar general 
of the American bishops, Grace, Seidenbusch, Marty and Shanley, 
who have exercised jurisdiction over this part of the church from 

The following is a list of the missionaries who came to the 
country at Bishop Provencher 's request before the advent of the 
Oblate fathers, and all of whom, except Demers, had something to 
do with church work in North Dakota : 

Severe Dumoulin 1818-1823. 

Th. Destroismaisons 1820-1827. 

John Harper 1822-1831. 

Fr. Boucher 1827-1833. 

G. A. J. Belcourt 1831-1859. 

Charles Ed. Poire 1832-1839. 

J. B. Thibault 1833-1879. 

M. Demers 1837-1838. 

Jos. Arsene Mayrand 1838-1845. 

Jos. F. Darveau 1841-1844. 

J. Lafleche 1844-1856. 

Jos. Borassa 1844-1856. 

Fathers Aubert and Tache were the last missionaries to enter 


the Red river country by way of the lakes. In 1843 on his journey 
to Canada Bishop Provencher crossed the prairies with a caravan 
of Red river carts in the employ of either Joe Rolette or Norman 
W. Kittson. The trail was by Otter Tail lake, the Sauk valley, 
thence along the Mississippi to St. Paul or Mendota. Another 
trail opened about the same time and followed for some years 
by Kittson 's carts led by Lake Traverse. The Sauk trail later on 
became a stage road, and at a later period a railroad. The Red 
river caravans, which increased from six carts in 1843 to 102 in 
1851, and to 600 in 1858, were very often accompanied going and 
coming by a priest. The average daily march of the caravan was 
about fifteen miles. The priest said mass nearly every morning. 
The writer, who was a sanctuary boy in the St. Paul cathedral 
from 1858 to 1867, serving mass there almost daily, had the pleas- 
ure of meeting many of the Red river missionaries of those early 
days, and often heard them relate the incidents of their trips 
over the prairies. To the Red river carts and to the hunting ex- 
peditions from Pembina and from St. Joseph, which brought the 
missionaries over every county of the state between the Red river 
and the Missouri, is due the spread of the knowledge of the 
Catholic church, and its civilizing influence among the Indians 
in North Dakota. As early as the autumn of 1842, Father 
Ravoux had made some beginnings of a mission among the Sioux 
at Lake Traverse. It was Father Ravoux who instructed, bap- 
tized and assisted on the scaffold thirty-three of the thirty-eight 
Sioux who were hanged at Mankato, Minn., December 26, 1862, 
for their work in the Minnesota massacre of that year. The sway 
of the priest over the savages of Minnesota and North Dakota 
had been established to quite an extent before Fort Abercrombie 
(1858) or Fort Totten (1867) were built on our prairies. Bishop 
Lafleche, of Three Rivers, who left the Red river in 1856, often 
jokingly claimed that he was the pastor of Wild Rice, ten miles 
south of Fargo, because he has so often officiated there for the 
Canadians, half-breeds and few Indians of that vicinity. In fact, 
before 1856 mass had been said often in every camping place 
from Lake Traverse to Pembina. 

On May 8, 1847, Rev. Henry Faraud, an Oblate father, was 


ordained, and in the fall of that year it fell to his lot to accom- 
pany the hunters. Bishop Tache in his "Vingt Annees," page 
20, says: "A considerable number of the population of the Red 
river go twice a year onto the immense plains south and west of 
this colony (that is, in North Dakota), to hunt bison. The hun- 
ters, who always number several hundred, bring with them their 
whole family and live during four months of the summer in large 
camps. The numerous dangers inherent to the chase, and the 
more numerous and more regretable dangers of camp life, make 
the presence of a priest indispensable in those expeditions, during 
which one can always exercise a ministry both active and fruit- 
ful. There are many children who can receive religious instruc- 
tion only then. The hunters ask for a priest to accompany them, 
and their request is always granted when possible. This is what 
we call in this country ' going to the prairies. ' ' 

On November 30, 1864, Father Faraud was consecrated bishop 
and appointed to the new vicariate-apostolic of Athabasca-Mc- 
Kenzie. He died September 26, 1890. 

In 1848, in default of a priest, Brother Dube, a lay brother, 
went to the prairies twice. The good brother deserves to be 
numbered among the pioneer evangelizers of North Dakota. In 
1849 the work on the prairies was confined to Fathers Maison- 
neuve and Tissot. By this time the number of priests on the 
Canadian size sufficing for the missions there, Father Belcourt 
with the permission of Bishop Provencher, to whom he belonged, 
crossed the line and took up his residence at Pembina. 

In 1827 a robust, talented, pious and zealous young priest, 
twenty-four years of age, at the time pastor of Ste. Martine, dis- 
trict of Montreal, cheerfully volunteered for the Red river mis- 
sions. His offer was not accepted until 1831. This priest was 
George Anthony Joseph Belcourt, who arrived at St. Boniface 
with Bishop Provencher June 17, 1831, and remained in the Red 
river country twenty-eight years, a large portion of that time be- 
ing given to missionary work in North Dakota. On March 15, 
1859, Father Belcourt performed his last ministerial act in the 
Red river country, the baptism of Gabriel Grant. It is to be 
hoped that some one equal to the task may some day give us a 
life of this great missionary, who, of all the priests of pioneer 


days in North Dakota, from whatever point of view we consider 
him, was the most worthy of honor. The only writings of Bel- 
court the author has been able to obtain are the church records 
of St. Joseph from August 14, 1848, to March 15, 1859. These 
records are accurately and neatly written, showing that the good 
priest was very attentive even to the minor details of his sacred 
calling. His letters to Bishop Provencher no doubt perished in 
the burning of the episcopal residence at St. Boniface in 1860. 
The details here given of his work previous to August, 1848, are 
mainly from Dugas' life of Bishop Provencher. 

Father Belcourt was the first priest on these northern missions 
to acquire a knowledge of the Indian language. Before 1833 he 
had composed an Indian grammar and dictionary which are still 
in use as standard works. During the seventeen years he spent 
in the diocese of St. Boniface he was teacher of Indian to all 
the missionaries, without exception. He was the first priest who 
formed and cared for an exclusively Indian congregation in the 
Red river district. He founded the mission of Baie St. Paul on 
the Assiniboine in 1834. He visited the savages at Rainy Lake 
in 1838, and after surmounting many difficulties, succeeded in 
gaining their confidence and established a mission among them. 
The Indian mission of Wabassimong on Winnipeg river was his 
work, and in 1840 he began the mission of Vaie des Canards on 
Lake Manitoba. 

In 1846, after having transferred his flourishing mission of 
Wabassimong to the Oblate fathers, the "intrepid" Belcourt, as 
Bishop Tache calls him, "went to the prairie" with the hunters. 
Wherever hard work and total sacrifice of self were demanded, 
there Belcourt was sent, and there he gladly went. A true soldier 
of the cross, he never questioned the command of his superior. 
A zealous missionary, he sought his reward, not in the applause 
of men, but in the approval of his Divine Master. Not one line 
from Belcourt 's pen in praise of himself or of his work can be 
found, and the facts given in this short sketch were gathered 
by Dugas from the episcopal archives of Quebec and Montreal, 
the recollections of the old missionaries, and the reports of the 
old settlers among whom Belcourt worked. 

The oldest extant record of baptisms, marriages and deaths 


in this state was kept by Belcourt, from August 14, 1848, to 
March 15, 1859. The first baptism recorded in this book is that 
of Francis Cline, son of Francis Cline and Hester Aleck, his wife ; 
the sponsors being Michael Cline and Magdalene Beauchemin 
date August 14, 1848. From that date down to the present a full 
record of all the Catholic baptisms and marriages in Pembina, 
Walhalla and Leroy has been kept, and the books containing 
said records are in possession of the bishop of Fargo. In Bel- 
court's record there are entered 617 baptisms and seventy-eight 
marriages. Of these Father Lacombe performed seventy-nine, 
Father Fayole sixty-four, and Belcourt 552. 

In 1848 Belcourt settled in Pembina, where he resided a few 
years, afterwards removing to the mission of St. Joseph, the pres- 
ent site of Walhalla. Father Lacombe found him in Pembina in 
1849. In a letter to Archbishop Ireland, dated June 12, 1901, 
Father Lacombe, who spent two years in Pembina with Father 
Belcourt, writes: ''After my ordination to the priesthood by 
Bishop Bourget (of which I celebrate tomorrow the fifty-second 
anniversary) I left Montreal for Pembina. It was Father Bel- 
court who had determined my choice of that mission. It was in 
June, 1849. I arrived in Pembina in November of the same year 
. . . and devoted myself to the study of the Chippewa lan- 
guage during that whole winter under the able direction of my 
companion, Father Belcourt. The following spring I left with 
the caravan of hunters, half-breeds and savages, for the famous 
hunting trip over the vast prairies on the Coteau of the Missouri 
and the Turtle mountains, where we spent the summer in chasing 
buffalo and preparing our provisions of dry meat. Other pens 
more able than mine have described those hunts in which thou- 
sands of buffalos were killed by the brave, skillful and renowned 
nimrods. During those excursions the priest was not only the 
pastor of souls, but he was also the magistrate, the doctor, and 
the one who decided all cases without appeal. How happy I 
was on this wandering mission, with those hundreds of families 
who were so devoted to the priest. I believed myself to be a 
new Moses leading his people in the desert. In the autumn re- 
turned to Pembina. I rested from my travels, laboring with 
Father Belcourt." 


Beginning with 1849 the Catholic Directory tells the story of 
the Pembina mission and the missions in that neighborhood, so 
far as the priest in charge is concerned. The Catholic Directory 
is an official guide book of the priests in the United States, com- 
piled by the bishops of the different dioceses, and giving the 
name, location and occupation of every priest in good standing 
in the whole country every year. The non-appearance of a priest 's 
name in the Directory is a sign either that he has left the country, 
or that he is no longer in the ranks of the ministry, or sometimes 
of both. The Directory comes out in the beginning of each year. 
Pembina first appears in the Catholic Directory of 1849, under 
the heading "Diocese of Dubuque," to which diocese it then 
belonged. The Directory says : "Pembina (sic) Mission. Anew 
mission has just been commenced here, where there is a settle- 
ment of about 500 half-breeds from Red river. It is about 600 
miles northwest of the falls of St. Anthony, and promises to in- 
crease rapidly." This refers to the condition of Pembina in 1848. 

In 1850 the Directory says: "Pembina Mission, Minnesota 
Territory, Church of the Assumption. This settlement is com- 
posed of 500 half-breeds, from Red river. Rev. Geo. Ant. Bel- 
court and Rev. Albert Lacombe. These two clergymen attend 
several Indian missions in those remote northern regions." It 
is to be noted that Belcourt is the way the grand old pioneer 
spells his name in his records. 

The Directory of 1851 is a reprint of 1850 as concerns Pem- 

In 1852, under the report of the diocese of St. Paul, the Di- 
rectory has: "Pembina, Church of the Assumption. Very Rev. 
Joseph Bellecourt. Sermon in English, French and Chippewa." 

1853 A reprint of 1852. 

1854 "Pembina-St. Joseph's. Very Rev. Joseph Bellecourt, 
who founded this prosperous mission, which numbers more than 
1,500 Catholics, mainly half-breeds. There is a school directed 
by some Sisters of Charity. This place promises to become very 
important, being the first post on the lands of the United States 
close by the British possessions and the Selkirk settlement. The 
first settlement of Pembina, twenty miles from St. Joseph, pos- 


sesses a large log church under the title of the Assumption. It 
is visited from St. Joseph. 

This excerpt shows that Father Belcourt had moved his head- 
quarters to Walhalla, or, as it was then called, St. Joseph, some 
time in 1853. 

1855 Report same as 1854, except that Rev. John Fayole is 
mentioned together with Father Belcourt. 

1856 Same as 1855, -except that Rev. John Fayole's name is 
omitted. He had been changed to Little Canada, near St. Paul, 
and the sisters in charge of the school are called Sisters of the 
Propagation of the Faith. They are mentioned as follows: 
"These sisters, seven in number, conduct an English, French and 
Indian school, and by their knowledge of the languages used by 
the different tribes they are particularly qualified for the instruc- 
tion of persons of their own sex and of children. They have 100 
pupils in their schools. They receive boarders at the rate of 
$30.00 for six months. These sisters intend, as soon as circum- 
stances permit, to extend their charitable labors to the sick." 

1857 A reprint of 1856. 

1858 "Pembina, on the N. Red river; St. Joseph 's Rev. 
Joseph Belcourt. Convent and academy of the Sisters of the 
Propagation of the Faith, seven sisters." 

1859 "Pembina (sic) on the Red River of the North, in the 
new Territory of Dacotah ; St. Joseph, (service in French, English 
and Chippewa), Rev. Joseph Belcourt. Church of the Assump- 
tion, twenty miles northeast from Pembina, in the state of Minne- 
sota (half-breeds and Canadians), Rev. Joseph Goiffon." 

"Sisters of the Propagation of the Faith. This new order of 
sisters has been established especially for the instruction of chil- 
dren amongst the numerous half-breeds and the Indian tribes in 
the northern part of the diocese, as soon as their means will per- 
mit. They have now charge of St. Francis Xavier Academy at 
Pembina, on the Red River of the North, Dacotah Territory. 
Sister Francis Xavier, superior." 

Some time in 1853 Father Belcourt changed his residence from 
Pembina to the present site of Walhalla, which was then known 
as the mission of St. Joseph. There he built a church, school, 
presbytery and flour mill, the first mill in the state, thus taking 


an active part in the industrial as well as in the religious develop- 
ment of the country. From Pembina or St. Joseph he traveled in 
all directions over the state, leaving in many places lasting re- 
sults of his good influence. He evangelized the whole of the Tur- 
tle mountain region, and on the summit of the highest peak in 
those hills, Butte St. Paul, six miles east of the city of Bottineau, 
he planted the symbol of man's redemption. To Belcourt's work 
is mainly due the present civilization of the Chippewa Indians 
in this state and across the line. And if in 1862-63 the Chippewa 
nation did not join the Sioux in their war against the whites it 
is largely, if not altogether, owing to the lessons of Father Bel- 
court and Father Andre of North Dakota, and Father Pierce of 
Crow Wing, Minnesota. If any Catholic priest more than another 
has done meritorious and lasting work for the benefit of this 
state, George Anthony Joseph Belcourt is the man. 

Among the benefactors of the church in Pembina and St. 
Joseph in the days of its infancy, Joseph Rolette, Anthony Gin- 
gras and N. "W. Kittson deserve special mention. Rolette and 
Gingras were Catholics, and Kittson was married to a Catholic 
wife. For many years those three gentlemen represented the 
county, at that time almost co-extensive with the present state, 
in the territorial legislature of Minnesota, at one time walking 
all the way from Pembina to St. Paul. In the state capitol of 
Minnesota is a picture of Rolette, with the inscription: "Hon. 
Joseph Rolette, who saved the capitol to St. Paul by running 
away with the bill to remove it to St. Peter in 1857." Mr. Ro- 
lette 's son Joseph is a resident of Belcourt, N. D., and is well 
known as an Indian interpreter. Mr. Norman Gingras, a highly 
esteemed citizen of Leroy, is a son of Antoine Gingras, and some 
of Mr. Kittson 's children were born and baptized in Pembina. 

Father Belcourt was born at Baie du Febvre, Canada, April 
23, 1803, educated in the Nicolet seminary, and ordained priest 
March 10, 1827. He came to the Red river with Bishop Proven- 
cher in 1831, and returned to Canada in 1859, where he continued 
to labor zealously and successfully until 1874. He died at Shed- 
iac, New Brunswick, May 31, 1874, and was buried at Memrem- 
cook. He was North Dakota's greatest pioneer priest. 

In September, 1859, Rev. Joseph Goiffon assumed pastoral 


charge of the Pembina mission, to which St. Joseph was added 
in March, 1859, after the departure of Father Belcourt. During 
Father Goiffon's pastorate he was assisted at times by Father 
Ravoux from St. Paul, and by Fathers Thibault, Simonet, Oram 
and Andre from St. Boniface, whose names appear in the baptis- 
mal and marriage records. In November, 1860, Father Goiffon 
was caught in a blizzard near the present town of Neche. He re- 
mained on the prairie for five days, his only food being the frozen 
raw flesh of his horse, which had died from exposure. On the 
fifth day a party under the lead of Pierre Bottineau found him 
and brought him to a place of shelter, where one leg and a part 
of the remaining foot were amputated. Father Goiffon is still 
living, hale and hearty, and has charge of the parish of Mendota, 
in the suburbs of St. Paul. He left the Red river in September, 
1861. Everybody in Ramsey county, Minnesota, knows and loves 
good Father Goiffon. I have often asked him to write his Pem- 
bina experiences, but so great is his dislike of notoriety that he 
has always refused. 

In 1859 Father Mestre, an Oblate father, went on the annual 
hunting expedition, and was instrumental in concluding a treaty 
of peace that year between the Red river half-breeds and their 
fierce enemies, the Sioux ("Vingt Annees," page 117). 

In October, 1861, the missions of Pembina and St. Joseph were 
given by Bishop Grace, of St. Paul, to the Oblate fathers, and 
Rev. P. Andre, whom Bishop Tache calls "ce jovial et bon 
Breton," was duly installed as pastor, and officiated in that 
capacity until August 31, 1864. In Mr. A. P. Connolly's book, 
"The Minnesota Massacre 1862," page 221, we read: "Camp 
Atchison was the most important of all the camps on the whole 
route. It was here that the General (Sibley) was visited by some 
300 Chippewa half-breeds, led by a Catholic priest named Father 
Andre, who told him that the Indians, hearing that General Sully, 
who was marching up the west side of the Missouri with a large 
body of troops, was delayed on account of low water, were de- 
flecting their course in the hope of being reinforced by the Sioux 
inhabiting the country west of the Missouri." Camp Atchison, 
Connolly says, was located about fifty miles southeast from 


Devils Lake. Connolly was a member of the Sixth Minnesota 
regiment, and an eye witness to what he relates. 

In his "Vingt Annees," page 185, Bishop Tache narrates the 
same episode as follows: " During the hunt on the prairie the 
half-breeds of St. Joseph, who accompanied Father Andre, met 
an American army under command of General Sibley, who were 
pursuing the Sioux to punish them for the horrible massacre of 
1862. Our half-breeds, drawn up in line, with their missionary 
at their head, advanced to the camp of the brave sons of the 
Union. Arrived at the tent of the general, at the very foot of 
the starry banner, Father Andre, mounted on his mettlesome 
charger and surrounded by his incomparable half-breed cavaliers, 
delivered to the general and to the American flag a veritable 
"discours en selle," a chef-d'oeuvre of military eloquence. He 
won the heart of the general and his staff. In the month of De- 
cember the humble missionary of St. Joseph received his diploma 
as military agent from the United States government for the 
pacification of the Sioux. The good father, astounded by the 
unexpected fruits of his eloquence, came to St. Boniface to exhibit 
his parchments and to receive instructions for his new and im- 
portant mission. A few days later, in the middle of winter, he 
traveled over the immense plains south of St. Joseph in search of 
the Sioux chiefs to whom he wished to render the great service 
of saving them from destruction by reconciling them with their 
offended government." The United States recompensed Father 
Andre liberally for his services. If his efforts at pacification 
failed of complete success, the fault was none of his, and the 
government recognized this fact. Father Andre's mission of 
peace took place in 1862. 

During Father Goiffon 's administration seventy-four baptisms 
and eight marriages were performed in Pembina, as follows: 
Oram 1, Thibault 2, Ravoux 3, Andre 18, and Goiffon 58. 

In the same period 118 baptisms and 14 marriages were per- 
formed at St. Joseph, as follows : Goiffon 84, Ravoux 2, Thibault 
20, Simonet 26 thus giving 22 marriages and 192 baptisms in 
those two missions in three years. The significance of these sta- 
tistics as to population appears by comparing them with those 
of a large Catholic parish of today. In the three years ending 


December 31, 1901, the baptisms in the large parish of St. Michael, 
Grand Forks, were 124, and the marriages 35. 

In September, 1861, Rt. Rev. Thomas L. Grace, bishop of St. 
Paul, to whosa diocese Pembina then belonged, visited the mis- 
sion and administered confirmation. Before leaving Pembina 
Bishop Grace gave the pastoral care of the Missions of Pembina 
and St. Joseph with all their dependencies to the Oblate fathers 
from across the line, who took charge of them in October, a 
charge they faithfully fulfilled until the 9th of April, 1877. Dur- 
ing that period the following priests were employed in those 
missions : 

St. Joseph L. X. Simonet, April, 1861, to June, 1861; A. 
Andre, October, 1861, to September, 1864; H. Germain, intermit- 
tently from November, 1862, to February, 1865 ; J. B. E. Richer, 
August, 1864, to April, 1869 ; V. Vergeville, March, 1865, to May, 
1865 ; H. Leduc, September, 1865, to December, 1865 ; L. LeGoff , 
October, 1866, to April, 1867 ; A. Laity, January, 1868, to May, 
1868 ; J. M. J. LeFloch, November 6, 1868, to April 9, 1877 ; J. D. 
Fillion, August, 1877, to September 17, 1877; Ignatius Tomazin, 
December, 1877, to January 10, 1878; J. D. Fillion, March, 1878; 
Michael Charbonneau, one visit in September, 1877, and another 
in March, 1878 ; Louis Bonin, March 31, 1877, to October 2, 1887. 

Pembina H. Leduc, January 9, 1866, to May 19, 1867 ; A. Le- 
geard, December 29, 1867, to June 20, 1868 ; J. B. E. Richer, No- 
vember 3, 1868, to May 6, 1869 ; J. M. J. LeFloch, September 12, 
1869, to December 15, 1869; L. Simonet, April 17, 1870, to 
April 16, 1877 ; J. D. Fillion, one visit in August, 1877 ; Michael 
Carbonneau, one visit in December, 1877; Ignatius Tomazin, one 
visit in January, 1878; Michael Carbonneau, one visit in May, 
1878 ; Louis Bonin, June 22, 1878, to April 4, 1889. Father Bonin 
was followed in Pembina April 25, 1880, by Rev. John Considine, 
at present pastor of Minto. 

Thus from 1818 to 1880, thirty-three priests and four bishops 
had labored in the Pembina district of North Dakota. 

On November 13, 1873, Father LeFloch transferred the head- 
quarters of the St. Joseph mission from Walhalla to its present 
location at Leroy. Up to 1873 there had been no exclusively In- 
dian mission in North Dakota. 


On his way to the Rocky mountain tribes Father DeSmet had 
stopped for a few days with the Mandans on the Missouri, and 
had baptized a few children, among others Martin Good Bear 
and Joseph Packinaw, who are today leading business men at 
Fort Berthold. But Father DeSmet founded no mission there. 

The history of the Indian missions shall be told in another 

Up to the year 1867 the history of the Catholic church in 
North Dakota is confined to the Pembina district. In 1867 a 
small mission was begun in the neighborhood of Fort Abercrom- 
bie, which was attended from time to time by Rev. J. B. Genin, 
who resided from 1867 until 1873 in McAuleyville or Moorhead. 
In August, 1873, he was appointed pastor of Duluth, where he 
remained till 1882. From 1882 till 1889 his name does not appear 
in the Catholic Directory. The first mention of Father Genin as 
a priest in the northwest occurs in Archbishop Tache's "Vingt 
Annees" under the year 1865, page 227, as follows: "The 25th 
of April (1865) Monseigneur de Anemourt, accompanied by 
Fathers Genin, Tissier and Le Due, and by Brothers Lalican, 
Hand and Mooney, left Montreal for the Red river, and the 24th 
of May the clergy and the Catholic population of the colony had 
the happiness to see the pious caravan arrive." The second men- 
tion of him is on page 231: "He (Bishop Farand) departed, ac- 
companied by Father Genin and Brother Boisrame." On page 
241 of the same work Father Genin is mentioned for the third 
and last time, where it is stated that on June 27, 1866, Father 
Genin was located in the vicariate of Athabasca, Mackenzie. 

The story of the growth of the church from 1865 to 1890 is 
told by the Catholic Directory. 

The Directory for 1865 says: Missions of half-breeds and 
Chippewas at Pembina and St. Joseph, Red River of the North, 
Rev. Pere Andre and Pere Germaine. 

1866 Same as 1865, except Rev. Andre omitted. 

1867 Same missions, Rev. F. Richer, 0. M. I., and Rev. F. 
Le Due, 0. M. I. 

1868, 1869, 1870 and 1871 same as 1867. 

1872 Dakota Territory: 

St. Joseph Rev. J. B. Lafloch, 0. M. I. 


Pembina Rev. F. Simonet, 0. M. I. 

Other stations in the northern counties visited" by Oblate 
fathers : 

Yankton Rev. V. Sommereisen. 

Adolescat Rev. C. Boucher. 

Stations in the southern district visited by Rev. V. Sommer- 


Same as 1872, except Adolescat, Rev. C. Boucher, Rev. P. J. 


Same as 1872, except Vermillion visited by Rev. P. J. Bedard. 
Bloomingdale Rev. V. Sommereisen. 
Fort Totten Rev. L. Bonin. 


Same as 1874, except : 
Fort Totten Rev. L. Bonin. 

Fort Totten agency, chapel and school Rev. L. Bonin. School 
taught by Sisters of Charity from Montreal. 


Vicariate of northern Minnesota erected by papal brief Febru- 
ary 12, 1875, comprising besides a portion of Minnesota that part 
of Dakota Territory lying east of Missouri and White Earth 
rivers, and north of the southern line of Burleigh, Logan, La 
Moure, Ramsey and Richland counties. 

Rt. Rev. Rupert Sidenbusch, bishop of Halia in partibus in- 
fidelium, consecrated May 30, 1875. 

Dakota Territory. 

St. Joseph Church Rev. J. B. Lafloch, 0. M. I. 

Pembina Church Rev. F. Simonet, 0. M. I. 

Fort Totten Rev. L. Bonin. 

Bismarck Church Attended from Duluth by Rev. J. B. Genin. 

Jamestown attended from Duluth. 

Holv Cross from Moorhead. 


Devil's Lake Agency, Chapel and School Rev. L. Bonin. The 
Grey Nuns of Montreal direct the school. 


Indian mission at Standing Rock founded under care of Abbot 
Martin Mart, 0. S. B., and Revs. Jerome Hunt and Claude Ebner, 
0. S. B. 

Bismarck, Forts Lincoln and Rice attended from Standing 

St. Joseph and Pembina Rev. Ignatius Tomazin. 

Holy Cross attended from Moorhead by Rev. Joseph Buh. 


Resident priest in Bismarck, Rev. Chrysostom Foffa, 0. S. B. 
Jamestown attended from Bismarck. 

Mission at Grand Forks begun by Rev. J. Hubert, receives 
resident pastor, Rev. Louis L'Hiver. 


Vicariate apostolic of Dakota, erected by papal brief August 
12, 1879, Rt. Rev. Martin Marty, 0. S. B., appointed first vicar 
apostolic. Consecrated bishop of Tiberius February 1, 1880. 

Missions established at Mandan and Fort Buford in 1879. 

Standing Rock Agency Rt. Rev. Martin Marty, 0. S. B. ; 
Father Jerome and Father Casper, 0. S. B. 

Walhalla and Pembina Rev. L. Bonin. 

Fort Totten Rev. Claude Ebner, 0. S. B. 

Bismarck Rev. Chrysostom Foffa. 

Jamestown attended from Bismarck. 

Holy Cross attended from Moorhead by Revs. L. Spitzelber- 
ger and Rev. James A. McGlone. 

Grand Forks attended by Rev. L. L'Hiver. 


Bismarck Rev. C. Foffa, 0. S. B. 

Stations attended: Fort Buford, Fort Lincoln, Mandan and 

Fort Totten Rev. Claude Ebner, 0. S. B. 


Fort Yates Eev. J. A. Stephan, Eev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B. ; 
Rev. L. Hendrick. 

Grand Forks Eev. L. L'Hiver. 

Walhalla Eev. L. Bonin. Attends Pembina also. 

Priests Twelve. 

Churches and Chapels Twenty. 


Et. Eev. Marty, 0. S. B., consecrated February 1, 1880. Eesi- 
dence, Yankton. 

Acton Eev. J. W. Considine. 

Bismarck Eevs. B. Bunning and P. J. Keenan. 

Casselton From Moorhead. 

Elm Eiver, Traill County From Moorhead. 

Fargo Eev. A. J. Bernier. 

Ft. Abercrombie From Fargo. 

Fort Lincoln From Mandan. 

Ft. Yates Eev. J. A. Stephan. 

Grand Forks Eev. L. L'Hiver. 

Holy Cross From Fargo. 

Hyde Park, Pembina County Eev. L. Bonin. 

Jamestown Eev. George Hepperle. 

Mandan Eev. P. Cassidy. 

New Buffalo From Fargo. 

Park Eiver (now Oakwood) From Hyde Park. 

Pembina Eev. Michael Horgan. 

St. Andrew's From Acton. 

St. Boniface, Eichland County From Wahpeton. 

Valley City From Jamestown. 

Wahpeton Eev. A. Bergmann. 


Eesidence of vicar apostolic, Yankton. 

Bismarck Eev. E. P. Eettenmaier, 0. S. B. 

Casselton From Fargo. 

Elm Elver From Fargo. 

Fargo Eev. J. A. Stephan. 

Ft. Abercrombie From Holy Cross. 


Ft. Lincoln From Mandan. 

Ft. Totten Rev. Michael Horgan. 

Ft. Yates Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B. 

Grand Forks Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Holy Cross Rev. L. Bonin. 

Jamestown Rev. Thomas Galvin. 

Mandan Rev. P. Cassidy. 

New Buffalo From Fargo. 

Seven Dolors, Ramsey County Rev. S. Caren. 

Park River (Oakwood) Rev. J. F. Malo. 

Pembina Rev. J. Lerche. 

St. Andrew's, Pembina County From Pembina. 

St. Boniface, Richland County From Wahpeton. 

St. Claude, Rolette County From Fort Totten. 

Turtle River Rev. J. AY. Considine. 

Valley City-yFrom Jamestown. 

Wahpeton Rev. George Hipperle. 


Residence of vicar apostolic, Standing Rock Agency. 

Ardoch From Manvel. 

Bismarck Rev. E. P. Rettenmaier, 0. S. B. 

Casselton From Fargo. 

Elm River From Fargo. 

Ft. Totten Rev. S. Caren. 

Ft. Lincoln From Mandan. 

Ft. Yates Rev. H. Hug, 0. S. B. 

Grafton From Oakwood. 

Grand Forks Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Hyde Park Rev. L. Bonin. 

Jamestown Rev. F. Flanagan. 

Mandan Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Manvel Rev. J. W. Considine. 

Minto From Manvel. 

New Buffalo From Fargo. 

Seven Dolors, Devil's Lake Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B. 

Olga Rev. C. St. Pierre. 

Pulaski From Manvel. 


Oakwood Rev. J. Fertier. 

Pembina Rev. J. Lerche. 

St. Andrew's, Pembina County From Pembina. 

St. Benedict's (Holy Cross) Rev. A. J. Bernier. 

St. Boniface, Richland County From Wahpeton. 

Valley City Rev. S. Haddock. 

Veseleyville From Manvel. 

Wahpeton Rev. G. Hipperle. 


Residence of vicar apostolic, Jamestown. 

Bismarck Rev. E. P. Rettenmaier. 

Fargo Rev. F. Flanagan. 

Grand Forks Rev. Bernard W. Ahne. 

Jamestown Rev. J. A. Stephan. 

Larimore Rev. Thomas M. Cahill. 

Mandan Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Manvel Rev. J. W. Considine. 

Olga Rev. C. St. Pierre. 

Pembina Rev. James Quinlan. 

St. Benedict's, Cass County Rev. A. F. Bernier. 

Pulaski Rev. A. Michwakowski. 

St. John, Rolette County Rev. J. F. Malo. 

St. Joseph, Pembina County Rev. L. Bonin. 

Tarsus, Bottineau County Rev. U. Brunelle. 

Valley City Rev. Peter Flanagan. 

Wahpeton Rev. G. Hipperle. 

Stations attended: Bathgate and Chevalier, Casselton, Oriska, 
Sanborn, Grafton, Crystal, Neche, St. Boniface and Sisseton 
Agency, St. Anthony, Buxton, Hillsboro, Devil's Lake, Dickinson, 
Ft. Buford, Ft. Lincoln, Stanton, Taylor, Dawson, Ft. Stephen- 
son, Painted Woods, Williamsport, Elm River, Ft. Ransom, Lis- 
bon, New Buffalo, La Moure, Minto. 

Indian Missions. 

Fort Totten Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B. ; Rev. Jurus and 
Brother Giles. Standing Rock Rev. Henry Hug and Claude 



Residence of vicar apostolic, Yankton. 

Bismarck Rev. E. P. Rettermaier, 0. S. B. 

Dunseith Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Fargo Rev. S. Maddock. 

Grafton Rev. James Conaghan. 

Grand Forks Rev. Bernard W. Ahne. 

Jamestown Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Larimore Rev. Francis Flanagan. 

Lisbon Rev. M. Tierney. 

Mandan Rev. Martin Schmitt, 0. S. B. 

Manvel Rev. Thomas O'Reilly. 

Olga Rev. Cyril St. Pierre. 

Oakwood Rev. Francis Hamet. 

Pembina Rev. John McGuinnis. 

Pulaski Rev. A. Michwakoski. 

St. Benedict's, Cass County Rev. . 

St. John, Rolette County Rev. J. F. Malo. 

St. Joseph, Pembina County Rev. L. Bonin. 

Tarsus Rev. U. Bruenelle. 

Valley City Rev. Herman Jasper. 

Wahpeton Rev. George Hipperle. 

Missions with churches attended: Ardoch, Minto, Bathgate, 
Casselton, Leonard, Oriska, Sanborn, Cavalier, Walhalla, Neche, 
St. Boniface, St. Joseph, St. Claude, Veseleyville. 

Missions without churches attended: Arvilla, Buxton, Hills- 
boro, Burnt Creek, Dawson, Ft. Stephenson, Painted Woods, Will- 
iamsport, Crystal, Dickinson, Glen Ullin, Taylor, Elm River, 
Grandin, New Buffalo, Ft. Ransom, Lamoure, Sheldon, Harris- 
burg, St. Anthony, Winona, Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B., and two 
brothers; Rev. Claude Ebner. 


Residence of vicar apostolic, Yankton. 
Bathgate Rev. Edward Kenny. 
Bismarck Revs. Bede and Paul. 
Devils Lake Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B. 


Dunseith Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Fargo Rev. S. Haddock. 

Grafton Rev. Peter Flanagan. 

Grand Forks Rev. C. Mitzger. 

Jamestown Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Larimore Rev. Francis Flanagan. 

Lisbon Rev. H. Tierney. 

Mandan Rev. Hartin Schmitt. 

Hanvel Rev. J. W. Considine. 

Olga Rev. C. St. Pierre. 

Oakwood Rev. Francis Hamet. 

Pulaski Rev. . 

St. Benedict's, Cass County Rev. Alfred Vigiaut. 

St. John Rev. J. F. Halo. 

St. Joseph, Pembina County Rev. L. Bonin. 

Tarsus Rev. U. Bruenelle. 

Valley City Rev. Hermann Jasper. 

Wahpeton Rev. G. Hipperle. 

Hissions with churches attended : Ardoch, Casselton, Sanborn, 
Cavalier, Neche, St. Boniface, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, St. Claude, 
Veseleyville, Walhalla. 

Hissions without churches attended: Arvilla, Harrisburg, 
Burnt Creek, Dawson, Ft. Stephenson, Painted Woods, Williams- 
port, Buxton, Hillsboro, Crystal, Gardar, Park River, Dickinson, 
Ft. Buford, Ft. Lincoln, Glen, TJllin, Taylor, Elm River, Grandin, 
New Buffalo, Ft. Random, Lamoure, Ransom, Sheldon, Lake 
Doyle, Langdon, Hinto, Winona. 

Fort Totten Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B., and two brothers. 

Standing Rock Rev. C. Ebner. 


Bathgate Rev. Nicholas Flawmang. 

Bay Centre Rev. L. Bonin. 

Bismarck Rev. Wolfgang Steinbogler. 

Bottineau Rev. U. Bruenelle. 

Devils Lake Rev. Claude Ebner, 0. S. B. 

Dunseith Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Fargo Rev. Sylvester Haddock. 


Grafton Rev. E. Kenny. 

Grand Forks Rev. E. Metzger. 

Jamestown Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Larimore Rev. Francis Flanagan. 

Lisbon Rev. M. Tierney. 

Mandan Rev. Martin Schmitt, 0. S. B. 

Manvel Rev. J. W. Considine. 

Michigan City Rev. James Kelly. 

Oakwood Rev. 0. J. Barrett. 

Olga Rev. Francis Hamet. 

Pulaski Rev. D. Kolassinski. 

St. John Rev. J. F. Malo. 

Valley City Rev. Hermann Jasper. 

Wahpeton (St. John) Rev. George Hipperle. 

Wahpeton (St. Adalbert) Rev. W. Dorrak. 

Wild Rice Rev. A. F. Bernier. 

Veseleyville Rev. . 

Missions with churches attended: Bechyn, Pisek, Casselton, 
Cavalier, Pembina, Conway, Arvilla (no church), Dickinson, Glen 
Ullin, Medora, Ft. Buford, Ft. Lincoln, Taylor, Ellendale, Spirit- 
wood (no church), Sheldon, Ft. Ransom, Lamoure, Leonard, Ran- 
som, St. Boniface, St. Anthony. St. Claude, St. Thomas, Walhalla. 

Missions without churches attended: Burnt Creek, Dawson, 
Ft. Stevenson, Painted Woods, Williamsport, Buxton, Hillsboro, 
Elm River, Grandin, New Buffalo, Harrisburg, Lake Doyle, Lang- 
don, Villand (McHenry county), Winona. 

Indian Missions. 

Ft. Totten Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B.; Rev. R. O'Grady, 
0. S. B., and two brothers. 

Fort Yates Rev. Bede Marty, 0. S. B. 


Bathgate Rev. J. B. Champagne. 

Bismarck Rev. Wolfgang Steinkozler, 0. S. B. 

Casselton Rev. Henry Schmitz. 

Devils Lake Rev. Claude Ebner, 0. S. B. 

Dickinson Rev. Ambrose Lethert, 0. S. B. 


Dunseith Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Fargo Rev. D. V. Collins. 

Grafton Revs. E. Kenny and J. Hynes. 

Grand Forks Rev. E. J. Conaty. 

Jamestown Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Larimore Revs. F. Flanagan and P. J. Connolly. 

Laureat Rev. C. Scollen. 

Lisbon Rev. M. Tierney. 

Mandan Rev. J. G. Penault. 

Manvel Rev. J. W. Considine. 

Michigan City Rev. James Durward. 

Oakwood Rev. 0. J. Barrett. 

Olga Rev. J. 0. Comptois. 

Pulaski Rev. D. Kolassinski. 

St. John Rev. J. F. Malo. 

Tarsus Rev. U. Bruenelle. 

Valley City Rev. H. Jasper. 

Veseleyville Rev. . 

Wahpeton (St. John) Rev. G. Hipperle. 

Wahpeton (St. Adalbert) Rev. "W. Dorrak. 

Wild Rice Rev. A. F. Bernier. 

Missions with churches attended : Ardoch, Minto, Bay Centre 
(St. Joseph), Cavalier, Neche, Pembina. Bechyn, Pisek. Conway, 
Arvilla (no ch.). Glen Ullin, Medora, Taylor. Lidgerwood, Gen- 
eseo, St. Anthony. Sheldon, Ft. Ransom, Lamoure, Ransom. 
Spiritwood. Walhalla, Lake Doyle, Langdon. Buxton, Hillsboro. 
Burnt Creek, Dawson, Ft. Stephenson, Painted Woods, Williams- 
port, Elm River, Grandin, Leonard, Buffalo, Ft. Buford. Har- 
risburg, Villand. 

Belcomb Rev. L. Bonin and Sisters of Mercy. 

Ft. Totten Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B., and Rev.- F. Wilder- 
kehr, 0. S. B. 

Standing Rock Revs. Bede Marty and Bernard Strassmaier. 
0. S. B. 


Bathgate Rev. J. B. Champagne. 

Bismarck Rev. Wolfgang Steinbogler, 0. S. B. 


Casselton Rev. Henry Schmitz. 

Devils Lake Rev. Vincent Wehrle, 0. S. B. 

Dickinson Rev. A. Lethert, 0. S. B. 

Dunseith Rev. L. L'Hiver. 

Ellendale Rev. M. Haulay. 

Fargo Rev. D. V. Collins. 

Grafton Rev. E. Kenny. 

Grand Forks Rev. E. J. Conaty. 

Jamestown Rev. P. Cassidy. 

Larimore Rev. P. J. Connolly. 

Laroy Rev. C. St. Pierre. 

Laureat Rev. 0. J. Barrett. 

Lisbon Rev. M. Tierney. 

Mandan Rev. J. G. Persault. 

Michigan City Rev. J. B. Genin. 

Minto Rev. J. W. Considine. 

Neche Rev. A. Leblanc. 

Oakwood Rev. J. L. Hella. 

Olga Rev. L. A. Ricklin. 

St. John Rev. J. F. Malo. 

St. Thomas Rev. E. B. Coffey. 

Tarsus Rev. U. Bruenelle. 

Wahpeton (St. John.) Rev. P. Albrecht. 

Wahpeton St. Adalbert Rev. W. Dorrak. 

Wild Rice Rev. A. F. Bernier. 

Missions attended: Ardoch, Manvel; Arvilla, Conway; 
Bechyn, Pisek; Burnt Creek, Dawson, Ft. Stephenson, Painted 
Woods, Williamsport ; Buxton, Hillsboro; Cavalier; Elm River, 
Grandin, Buffalo; Ft. Buford, Minot; Ft. Ransom, La Moure, 
Leonard, Ransom, Sheldon; Geneseo, Webber (now Havana); 
Glen Ullin, Taylor; Grimfield, Medora; Harrisburg; Lake Doyle, 
Langdon, Walhalla; Oriska, Sanborn; Pembina; St. Anthony; 
Spiritwood; Villand; Winona. 

Bel Comb Rev. Th. Maginnis. 

Ft. Totten Rev. Jerome Hunt, 0. S. B., and Rev. F. Wierder- 
kehr, 0. S. B. 

Standing Rock Rev. Bede Marty, 0. S. B. 

In 1889 the state of North Dakota was formed into a diocese, 


called then the diocese of Jamestown (now Fargo) and the writer 
of these lines was consecrated first bishop of the new diocese on 
December 27 of the same year, and took charge at once of the 
administration. Perhaps in the future some other pen may tell 
the events of my administration. Suffice it to know that in 
January, 1889, I found in North Dakota thirty priests, no eccle- 
siastical students, forty churches, and a Catholic population of 
19,000, of whom about seven thousand were Indians. The Cath- 
olic Directory of 1890 gives other figures, but the above are 
correct. In January, 1908, I was able to report for the Directory, 
one hundred two priests, among them one Abbot, two hundred ten 
churches and a Catholic population of 65,571. Twenty-three 
students belonging to the diocese are now in various seminaries. 

It is to be regretted that the first volume of the "Report 
of the Historical Society of North Dakota" should contain such 
arrant nonsense as is found on pages 202, 203, 212, 219 and 223 
of that publication. On those pages the reader is informed that 
LaSalle, the explorer, was a priest and a Jesuit; that Hennepin 
ministered for several years to the nomadic tribes of these 
regions; that in 1780 there were Catholic priests located at Pem- 
bina ; that oblates of St. Mary the Immaculate were in the coun- 
try before 1815; that Fort Douglas was at Pembina, instead of 
Winnipeg ; that Father DeSmet preached to the Mandans in 1830 ; 
that Bishop Tache was a member of "the religious Order Juli- 
opolis at St. Boniface"; that the Catholic priests at times used 
pemmican as a substance (no doubt the author wrote "substi- 
tute") for bread in the administration of the holy communion; 
that a certain priest operated in these regions without reference 
to ecclesiastical law, commissioned as he was by the Pope, and 
supported by the "College de Propaganda Fide"; that said priest 
built the chain of churches from Duluth to Bismarck, together 
with a multitude of other equally false assertions. Before con- 
cluding these notes, therefore, I deem it proper to correct at least 
some of the inaccuracies in that exceedingly inaccurate farrago 
entitled, "Leaves from Northwestern History," to which our 
State Historical Society unfortunately has given its imprimatur. 

First LaSalle was neither a priest nor a Jesuit. He was born 
in 1643 and sailed for Quebec in the spring of 1666, being twenty- 


three years of age. It is not even certain that LaSalle ever 
attended a Jesuit school. It is certain that he hated the Jesuits. 
He may have entered the Jesuit novitiate. It is certain that he 
never became a member of the society. 

Second Father Hennepin never set foot on North Dakota 
soil, and never did missionary work even in Minnesota. In com- 
pany with LaSalle, Hennepin left Fort Niagara in 1679 and 
journeyed by water as far as Fort Crevecoeur, on the Illinois 
river, a little south of the present site of Peoria. He parted from 
LaSalle on the last day of February, 1680, with a small party, for 
the purpose of exploring the Upper Mississippi. On the 31th or 
12th of April, 1680, Hennepin and his companions were captured 
by a war party of 120 Sioux in the neighborhood of the Black 
river, Wisconsin. They were brought by their captors up the 
Mississippi to the Rum, and up the Rum to the Indian villages 
at Mille Lacs, Minn., which they reached about the 5th of May. 
During his captivity, Hennepin did not exercise any priestly 
functions, except on one occasion to baptize a sick infant just 
before its death. "I could gain nothing over them," he writes, 
''in the way of their salvation, by reason of their natural stu- 
pidity." He could not say mass because his chalice and vest- 
ments had been taken from him. At the end of September, 1680, 
Hennepin left Minnesota, journeying by way of the Wisconsin 
and Fox rivers to Green Bay, and thence to Mackinaw, where 
he spent the winter with the Jesuit Father Pierson. In the 
spring of 1681 he returned to Quebec, and by the end of that year 
he was in France. Hennepin 's mission in the Northwest consisted 
of five months captivity among the Sioux and the baptism of 
one young infant. 

Third There is not a shred of evidence to show that any 
Recollet father, or any priest or any branch of the Franciscan 
order, ever came into the boundaries of this state to exercise 
the Catholic ministry before 1880. In 1615 Father LeCaron, and 
a few years later Father Sagard, both Recollets, came as far West 
as the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, on Lake Huron no further. 
LeCaron 's trip is described by Parkman in the thirteenth chapter 
of his "Pioneers of France in the New World." Father Sagard 
wrote a description of his own travels. 


Fourth De LaVerandrye 's reports to the governor general 
of New France are published in the sixth volume of Margry's 
"Discouvertes des Francais dans L'Amerique Septentrionale, " 
which volume contains also the reports of De LaVerandrye 's son, 
of Jacques LeGardeur de Saint Pierre, and of other explorers 
subsequent to 1751. In these reports four priests are mentioned : 
Messaiger, who returned to Montreal from Fort St. Charles, Lake 
of the Woods, in 1733, the year before the discovery of the Red 
river ; Father Auneau, who was killed by the Sioux in 1730, about 
seven leagues from Fort St. Charles, but who is not said to have 
gone to the Red river; Father Coquart, who was at Fort St. 
Charles in 1743, and who was probably at Fort de la Reine in 
October of that year; and Father La Morenerie, who in 1751 
accompanied Jacques LeGardeur to Fort de la Reine, and imme- 
diately returned to Mackinaw, finding himself totally unfit for 
the rough life. LeGardeur states that Father Morenerie did no 
missionary service. No priest, so far as the records and Coquart 's 
own reports show, accompanied De LaVerandrye or his son on 
iheir trips to the Mandans and the Rocky mountains. 

' ' Claude Godef ry Coquart was born at Melun, France, Febru- 
ary 2, 1706, and, after the usual term of studies, was ordained 
as a Jesuit priest. He came to Canada about 1738, and prob- 
ably spent the next three years at Quebec. In 1741 he was sent 
as Chaplain to LaVerandrye 's expedition (vol. 68, note 46) ; but 
owing to certain jealousies and intrigues the explorer was forced 
to leave Coquart at Michellimackinac for a time. He remained 
there probably until August, 1743; and, during the interval be- 
tween that date and July 21, 1744 (when his signature again 
appears upon the church register at Michellimackinac), he was 
able to execute his earlier project, and made a journey with La 
Verendrye to Fort La Reine. In the spring or early summer of 
1744, he must have returned from his journey, probably follow- 
ing LaVerendrye homeward when the latter was compelled to 
resign his position as commandant in the Northwest. In 1746 
Coquart was assigned to the Saguenay mission, where he labored 
until 1757. He then returned to Quebec, remaining there until 
the conquest. After the event, Coquart and Germain attempted 
to settle in Acadia, but the English authorities compelled them to 


leave that province. Coquart then resumed his labors in the 
Saguenay mission, where he spent the rest of his life ; he died at 
Chicoutimi July 4, 1765. An Abenaki grammar and dictionary 
remain as monuments of his linguistic labors." 

(Jesuits relations, vol. 69, page 289-90; note to page 79.) 

Fifth It is not true that Catholic priests were to be found 
wherever trading posts were established prior to the arrival or 
even after the arrival of Fathers Provencher and Dumoulin in 
1818. Whoever has read these notes attentively must have ob- 
served that from 1818 to 1844 Bishop Provencher found great 
difficulty in securing even one priest to assist him in ministering 
to the people between the Red river and the Rocky mountains, 
and from the boundary line to the Arctic ocean. 

Sixth Previous to 1844 the Oblates of Mary Immaculate had 
nothing to do with the missions in the northwest. Bishop Proven- 
cher was not an oblate. The society of priests and brothers 
known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate is a congregation 
founded at Marseilles, France, by Rev. Charles Mazenod in the 
year 1815. After laboring in the Red river country twenty-six 
y ears from 1818 to 1844 Bishop Provencher brought to his aid 
the Oblates, who from 1844 to the present day have done noble 
work for religion in the British possessions and North Dakota. 

Seventh The Selkirk settlement was at "Winnipeg. Fort 
Douglas was built there and named after Thomas Douglas, Lord 

Eighth Father DeSmet's first visit to the Rocky mountains 
was in 1840. (See Palladino's Indian and White in the North- 
west, page 23 et seq.) He made several trips subsequently up and 
down the Missouri river, and stopped sometimes at Standing 
Rock and Fort Berthold. 

Ninth There is no such religious order in the Catholic Church 
or in any other church as the "order of Juliopolis at St. Boni- 
face." Bishop Tache was an Oblate of Mary Immaculate. Bish- 
op Provencher 's official title was "Bishop of Juliopolis." Juli- 
opolis is the name of a city. 

Tenth The name Pembina was in use long before mass was 
celebrated in this state. The name has no reference whatever 
to the Holy Eucharist, or to the sacrifice of the mass, or to any- 


thing Catholic. No Catholic ever called the Holy Eucharist 
"blessed bread" ''pain beni." As long ago as 1823 Keating 
settled the derivation of the word Pembina. It means cranberry. 
The statement that priests used pemmican instead of bread in 
the celebration of mass surpasses anything in the line of self- 
satisfied ignorance I have ever read or heard. 

Eleventh There never was any question as to the ecclesias- 
tical jurisdiction over the territory comprised in what is now 
known as North Dakota, and no missionary apostolic was ever 
appointed by the holy see to look after the interests of the church 
hereabouts. Father Lacombe is still living, and he published 
Belcourt's grammar and dictionary after Belcourt's death. Bish- 
op Cretin was never in Canada. He was first a priest in Ferney, 
France the home of Voltaire; then a priest of the diocese of 
Dubuque, la. ; then first bishop of St. Paul. For a time he gave 
Father Belcourt the powers of a vicar general. The "College 
de Propaganda Fide," Rome, never gave a cent to any priest or 
layman in this or any other country. There is no such institution 
on God's footstool as the "College de Propaganda Fide." The 
congregation of the Propaganda, Rome, never gave a missionary 
in these parts any financial aid. The Association in Lyons and 
Paris for the Propagation of the Faith has helped and still helps 
the bishops of some needy dioceses to maintain their clergy. This 
help is always given through the bishops ; never direct to the 
missionary. The reason for this is obvious. Father Chebul built 
the first church at Duluth in 1870. It was burned a few years 
ago, and the present cathedral was built by Bishop McGolrick. 
T. R. Foley built the Aitkin church in 1883. In 1873 Father 
George Keller built the first Catholic church in Brainerd. The 
church in Perham was built by Father Spitzelberger, who also 
paid for the first church in Moorhead. The Methodist congrega- 
tion built the first church used by the Catholics in Fargo, which 
served as the cathedral till 1899. Father Spitzelberger built the 
first church in Casselton, Father Haddock the first church in Val- 
ley City, Father Flannigan the first church in Jamestown. The 
church in Buffalo was built by Father Quillinan, the Sanborn 
church by Father Schmitz, and in 1876 Bishop Marty collected 
the money to pay for the old church in Bismarck. 


This list includes all the Catholic churches between Duluth 
and Bismarck up to 1890, with the exception of the church at 
Detroit, Minn. The first rule of historical writing is to know the 
facts. The second is to tell them truthfully. 

The Episcopal Church in the Red River Valley. 

Rt. Rev. Bishop Cameron Mann. 

This historical sketch cannot possibly be a large one ; for the 
beginning of the Episcopal church in the Red River Valley was 
not very long ago, its growth has not been rapid, and its achieve- 
ments have been neither many nor great. 

And, even as to what did occur and was accomplished, it is 
hard to present any full report; for the data preserved or at 
least accessible are extremely scanty. 

So, all that I can give is the merest outline ; unless, indeed, I 
should gather bunches of small details of parochial and mission- 
ary happenings, such as are chronicled in this or that old news- 
paper. But these, while they might serve as footnotes for a big 
history, do not describe the current of events. That, briefly 
stated, is as follows : 

In 1860 the Rev. J. C. Talbot was made missionary bishop of 
"The Northwest." His territory included the present North Da- 
kota. But he never got there; which was of small consequence, 
since at that time hardly anybody else, for whom he might min- 
ister had arrived. The white settlement of the region began with 
"the sixties." 

In 1865 the Rev. R. H. Clarkson, clarum et venerable nomen, 
was made bishop for the territories of Nebraska and Dakota. In 
1870 three years after Nebraska became a state, the diocese of 
Nebraska was fully organized and Bishop Clarkson became the 
diocesan. He still, however, retained his office as the missionary 
bishop of Dakota. He was somewhat relieved, in the care of his 
enormous jurisdiction, by the consecration in 1873 of Rev. W. H. 
Hare, who took charge of the immense Indian missions, mostly in 
what is now South Dakota, with the title of Bishop of Niobrara. 

Bishop Clarkson was most zealous and assiduous in his labors. 


But, so far as Dakota was concerned, they went mostly along the 
course of the Missouri river, which was in these days the chief 
line of travel. Thus he visited Bismarck several times ; but Fargo, 
Grand Forks and Wahpeton only once. 

The earliest Dakota convocation journal in my possession, 
that of 1877, gives no evidence of any parish or mission estab- 
lished in the Red River Valley, except Christ church, Fargo. But 
neither clergyman nor lay delegate from the parish was present. 
In the convocation of 1878 Fargo is credited with two delegates 
and Grand Forks with one. But at neither place was there a 
rector. Both, however, had had the services of various clergymen, 
who did good, but brief work. In the journal of 1880, the Fargo 
parish appears under its present name of "Gethsemane, " with 
fourteen communicants, and Grand Forks shows a parish, under 
the present name "St. Paul's," with eleven communicants. 

It is regrettable that the convocation journals for the majority 
of Bishop Walker's years have perished, if they were ever printed. 
A valuable periodical, "The North Dakota Churchman," edited 
by Rev. F. B. Nash, of Fargo, was published monthly from Au- 
gust, 1887, to July, 1892, and again from January, 1893, to June, 
1894. Its files contain a mass of interesting information. 

Church building in the Red River Valley went on quite 
quickly. Between 1885 and 1893, churches were erected at Bath- 
gate, Buffalo, Casselton, Forest River, Grafton, Larimore, May- 
ville, Pembina, St. Thomas, Wahpeton and Walshville. 

But the great trouble was to supply these places with clergy- 
men. Often the folds stood unused for years, and the flocks were 

It must also be remembered that most of the immigration to 
the valley came either from Scandinavian lands, or from those 
parts of the United States where the Episcopal church is weakest. 
We gained little by the coming in of such settlers. Even the 
Canadians, many of whom naturally belonged to us, when they 
found services infrequent and ministers scarce, betook themselves 
to other religious bodies. Had there been a sufficient staff of 
priests in those days, the present strength of the Episcopal church 
in the Red River Valley would have been tenfold what it is. But 
the bishop could not get them. 


Some noble men there were whom I would like to biographize, 
were there space for it such as Peake, Nash, Currie, Sheridan, 
Gesner men of ability and devotion. But the fact remains that 
these men were few. 

After Bishop Walker's departure, North Dakota was in charge 
of the Rt. Rev. J. D. Morrison, bishop of Duluth, until, in 1899, 
the Rev. S. C. Ldsall, of Chicago, was consecrated its bishop. 

Bishop Morrison, at much personal inconvenience, gave a 
good deal of time to the Red River Valley, but necessarily his own 
district demanded the greater part of his attention and toil. 

Bishop Edsall's too brief episcopate he was translated to 
Minnesota in 1901 was marked by a vigorous advance. 
He revolutionized things in Fargo. The parish was changed 
to a cathedral organization; the present large church and 
the bishop's house were built; the Rev. H. L. Burleson 
became dean. At Grand Forks the Rev. J. K. Burleson, and 
at Larimore the Rev. E. W. Burleson, became rectors. Other effi- 
cient priests were brought in, and the vacant cures were filled. 
The business of the district was systematized and the feeling of 
the laity was kindled with a new enthusiasm. 

In all this the Red River Valley parishes and missions shared 
largely perhaps chiefly, for the bishop necessarily spent most of 
his time there. St. Peter's church, Park River, was built, and 
several rectories were acquired. 

In 1901 the Rev. Cameron Mann, of Kansas City, was made 
bishop, and in January, 1902, he took up his residence in Fargo. 
During his term there has not been much change in the valley 
condition of the Episcopal church. The notable advances have 
been made farther West. However, a beautiful church was built 
at Langdon; a fine rectory at Park River; and there have been 
growth and improvement generally. Also should be stated the 
establishment of a monthly paper, "The North Dakota Sheaf," 
published in Fargo; it has taken an enviable rank amongst the 
periodicals of its class. 

The present statement of the Episcopal church in the Red 
River Valley is ten clergy, fifteen churches and nine rectories. 
It is not a large showing. Still, statistics do not generally give 
the most important facts the vital ones. And, looking both at 


the past and the present, one can fairly say that a good work has 
been done and is doing though hopeful that the future may see 
larger toil and larger results. 

The latter had a rector, Rev. W. P. Law. The journal of 1881 
presents Mr. Law still at Grand Forks, and Rev. B. F. Cooley as 
rector at Fargo. All these convocations were held at Yankton. 

A very small wooden church was erected at Fargo in 1874; 
it was enlarged in 1881, during Mr. Cooley 's ministry. The church 
at Grand Forks was erected in 1881 during Mr. Law's ministry 
Built of brick, it still stands, though it has been enlarged. 

In 1880 the clergy and laity of Dakota petitioned the general 
convocation of the Episcopal church to admit the territory as a 
diocese, which would of course elect a bishop. After prolonged 
debate this request was denied by a small majority in the house 
of deputies, though the house of bishops favored it. At that time 
Dakota reported twelve clergymen and 412 communicants. 

In 1883 the Dakota convocation met in Sioux Falls. Rev. B. 
F. Cooley, of Fargo, and Rev. E. S. Peake, of Valley City, were 
present; also T. Donan, of Fargo. Naturally, there was a much 
larger attendance from the southern part of the jurisdiction. 
It was resolved to petition the general convention to divide Da- 
kota into two missionary districts and to appoint a bishop for 
each. Bishop Clarkson resigned the office he had so self-sacrific- 
ingly held, and gave himself entirely to the work in Nebraska. 

The general convention, meeting in October, 1883, acceded to 
the petition, and created the two missionary jurisdictions of 
" North Dakota" and "South Dakota," separating them by that 
line of which the petition had said, "It is confidently expected 
that the Territory of Dakota will soon be divided on the 46th 
parallel of latitude." 

But this "expectation" had to wait some six years for its 
fulfillment. And it is an interesting fact that the Episcopal 
church .made a "North Dakota" in its present size and shape half 
a decade before the United States did. At this time North Dakota 
reported four church buildings and five clergymen. Of course, 
services were held in a score of places where no church stood. 

The Rev. William D. Walker, of New York City, was chosen 
bishop for the new jurisdiction, by the general convention. He 


was consecrated December 20, 1883, and soon entered upon his 
work, making Fargo his home city. 

Three years later he reported fifteen clergy, forty-two mis- 
sions and 867 communicants. He held his position until 1896 
when he was translated to Western New York. 

One of the striking features of his career was the "Cathe- 
dral Car," in which he could travel about and hold services. It 
attracted much attention, but was too cumbrous and expensive. 
It could run only by courtesy of the railroads ; and they, as their 
business increased, grew less and less inclined to haul this car 
for nothing. Of course the bishop could not afford to pay for its 
transportation, so it fell into desuetude. But it really did valu- 
able advertising; it brought the bishop of North Dakota before 
the world; it caused many substantial gifts to his work. Most 
of the beautiful little stone churches which were erected during 
his episcopate were largely paid for with money from the East; 
and this "car" helped to draw that money. 

Baptist Church. 

The growth of this denomination has been exceedingly grati- 
fying to its members and the church property has gradually 
increased until it reaches into the hundreds of thousands. The 
increase in membership has been constantly growing until today 
it stands well in numerical strength. 

At the close of the year ending July 30, 1907, the report 
showed that it had thirty pastors, twelve who were occupied in 
ministerial work, six who are engaged in special work, and eight 
licentiates, or a total of fifty-six who were valiant laborers for 
the cause. There are fifty-three churches, valued at $191,430, 
and twenty-eight parsonages whose estimated value is $35,772. 
It has a membership of 4,161 and its Sunday schools show an 
enrollment of 3,164 scholars. 

Churches Organized. 

Dane-Norwegian, Ruso, July 21, 1906, twelve members; Wa- 
lum, "Walum, November 21, 1906, fourteen members ; Norwegian, 
Gladys, June 7, 1907, eleven members; Glenburn, Glenburn, July 
7, 1908, eighteen members. 


Houses of Worship Dedicated. 

Coal Harbor, Swedish Conference, July 7, 1907; Bismarck, 
North Dakota Association, July 28, 1907. 

Ministers Ordained. 
Alfred F. Ham, Bottineau, June 11, 1907. 

Ordained Baptist Pastors in the State. 
Name. Postoffice. 

Anderson, W. L Jamestown 

Bens, H. G Lehr 

Bischoff, C Danzig 

Burgdoff , George Lehr 

Batchelor, iSamuel Cooperstown 

Brasted, Alva J Lisbon 

Borsheim, S. Hillsboro 

Bornschlegel, George Medina 

Breding, Olaf Powers Lake 

Bronnum, Andrew A Valley City 

Carlton, B. L Fargo 

Presbyterian Church. 

In the state of North Dakota there are 120 Presbyterian 
ministers, 185 churches, with about fifty preaching stations. 
Already there are 132 church buildings and sixty-two manses. 
The value of the church, manse and educational property together 
is approximately $800,000. The church membership is about 
6,500 and the Sunday-school membership about 8,000. The money 
contributed annually for the support of these churches is about 
$130,000. The work has been growing very rapidly in recent 
years and the prosperity is shown in that the churches have 
increased their offerings to the Board of Home Missions about 
100 per cent the last year. 

Presbyterian Church, Bismarck. 

The First Presbyterian church of Bismarck is the oldest church 
of that denomination in the state. Thirty-five years ago on the 


llth day of May, with the advent of the Northern Pacific rail- 
road, when Bismarck was little more than a camp, the first 
religious services were held. The place was a large tent used 
for gambling and saloon purposes, a striking contrast, by the 
way, to the present modern structure valued at $30,000, one of 
the finest church buildings in the state. 

A valuable addition to the church was completed last fall. A 
commodious Sunday-school room, seating 300 persons, a fine read- 
ing-room and libary, a large basement, suitable for gymnasium 
and social purposes, are now a part of the church's equipment. 
During eight months of the year the church reading room is open 
every evening. A boy's athletic association, and a girl's gym- 
nastic club are among the various lines of activity that this live, 
up-to-date church is pursuing. 

In October the Presbyterian Synod, a state gathering, will 
meet in the church and will fittingly celebrate the first thirty-five 
years of its history. 

The pastor, Rev. Chas. W. Harris, is a Lafayette man, class of 
'95, and Princeton Seminary, class of '98. He has been ten years 
in the state and has never regretted North Dakota as a field 
of labor. He rejoices in its opportunities and believes in its 

History of Congregationalism in the Red River Valley. 
By Rev. Edwin H. Stickney, Fargo, N. D. 

Congregationalism has had to do with the very beginnings of 
Christian work in the valley. Probably the first Christian mis- 
sionary in it limits, unless perhaps a Roman Catholic priest, was 
such. Rev. David B. Spenser, a Congregational minister, who 
labored for a time among the Indians of the northern part of 
Pembina county about the years 1853 and 1854, and whose wife, 
a most worthy Christian worker, was murdered by the Indians 
August, 1854, near where Walhalla is now situated. After her 
death the work was given up. 

Few settlements were made in the valley previous to 1870, and 
these few were up and down the Red river in connection with the 
Hudson Bay trading posts. With the completion of the N. P. 


R. R. to Fargo in 1871, and the beginning of a village on the 
west side of the river, attention began to be turned toward these 
parts of the territory. The first Congregational missionary to 
visit this region was Rev. Hiram N. Gates, who had also done work 
along the line of the N. P., farther east, in Minnesota. 

As early as 1870 the Congregationalists did work at Breck- 
enridge, Minn., and in connection with this point work was begun 
at Wahpeton, N. D. At Breckenridge a Congregational church 
was later organized, and in 1876 a house of worship was erected. 
After a time the work was given up, and the building sold. The 
next place was Glyndon, where Congregational, though nomi- 
nally Union work, was commenced as early as 1871, and a church 
was organized in 1872. Another nominally Union, though prac- 
tically Congregational, work was commenced at Hawley in 1873, 
and a Union church was organized that year. Early in 1878 Con- 
gregational work was commenced at Crookston and a church was 
organized that year. In 1882 a Congregational church was estab- 
lished through the efforts of Rev. John A. Wells at Ada; and the 
same year Rev. S. H. Barteau did work at Argyle, Euclid, Angus 
and Stephen, but permanent work was established only at Stephen 
and this was given up in 1893. In 1881 Congregational work 
was established at St. Vincent, but later given up. In 1885 a 
Congregational church was established at Barnesville, in 1894 
at Moorhead, 1898 at Felton, in 1901 at Ulen and in 1907 at Ar- 
gyle. All of these churches, except at Argyle, have commodious 
houses of worship, and are doing excellent work. 

The first permanent work on the North Dakota side of the 
river, performed by a Congregational missionary, was done at 
Wahpeton. Services were followed up here and at Breckenridge, 
Minn., with greater or less regularity for years, and held in any 
vacant room or hall that could be found. 

September 10, 1881, Rev. 0. C. Clark, who had labored pre- 
viously in Minnesota, took up the work at Fargo. Mr. Clark 
took hold of the work with great energy, and under his lead a 
council was held November 2, and the First Congregational church 
of Fargo was organized with twenty-two members. This council 
was an event of the very greatest importance in the history of 
Congregationalism in North Dakota. It was stated before the 


council that there was not a place for this denomination in this 
state; but after careful deliberation it was unanimously decided 
that there was a place for what Congregationalism stands for. 
Rev. Clark continued as pastor for a year, and also went out to 
Harwood and commenced work. After Mr. Clark resigned, he 
built a chapel on the north side, which eventually developed into 
Plymouth church. In December, 1882, Rev. R. A. Beard of Brain- 
erd, Minn., was called to the pastorate of the First church. Under 
his lead the church was greatly strengthened, a house of worhsip 
built, and it became self-supporting. Mr. Beard's services were 
most helpful in connection with the establishment of Fargo Col- 
lege, to which allusion will be made later. In July, 1888, he 
resigned, and Rev. Vernon N. Yergin took up the work. On the 
morning of July 7, 1890, the disastrous wind storm that swept 
over the city so injured the house of worship that its further 
use was unsafe. Mr. Yergin at once devoted himself to the work 
of building a new brick church, costing $16,000. With the timely 
aid of a loan from the Building Society, the church was com- 
pleted and dedicated in February, 1892. The next pastor was 
Rev. Joseph F. Dudley, D. D., who was just closing a most suc- 
cessful pastorate of twenty-six years with the First Congrega- 
tional church of Eau Claire, Wis. He commenced his pastorate 
September, 1895. He was. a most careful and judicious pastor, 
but, owing to ill health, he resigned and closed his labors July, 
1901. The church then called Rev. C. H. Dickinson as their pas- 
tor. He came to the work in the prime of life, and took hold 
of the work with great .energy, and also proved a strong addi- 
tion to the Christian forces in the state. In 1906 Rev. R. A. Beard 
was again called to take up the work, and was gladly welcomed 
back by his many friends in the church and state. 

In May, 1882, Rev. Henry C. Simmons, of Walnut Grove, 
Minn., was commissioned by the Home Missionary Society as a 
general missionary for North Dakota. He came upon the field at 
once, and spent his first Sunday at Larimore. The weather had 
turned suddenly cold, and snow had fallen during the previous 
night, but despite this unfavorable condition of things Superin- 
tendent Simmons hustled around, found a place for meeting and 
organized a church of seven members. This church was subse- 


quently given up, because he could not find a man to take the 
place. As soon as Superintendent Simmons took the work it 
began to be evident that Congregationalism was making a place 
for itself in this new territory. 

Among the places organized that first summer was Mayville, 
Hope, Harwood and Grand Forks. Mr. Simmons had most excel- 
lent judgment in the planting of churches, seldom locating one 
where later it was not shown that his decision was wise. Each 
year was marked by decided gains, though often not nearly as 
much was done as would have been if there had been more mis- 
sionary money. In August, 1894, he was elected president of 
Fargo College, and from that time gave only half of his time 
to the Home Missionary work. In May, 1897, he resigned from 
the superintendency of Home Missions and gave his whole time to 
the college. 

Rev. John L. Maile succeeded Mr. Simmons as missionary 
superintendent in North Dakota and he served the state for two 
years, when failing health necessitated a change to a warmer 
climate. Mr. Maile was a man of most beautiful Christian char- 
acter, and made a warm place for himself in the hearts of the 

Superintendent Maile was succeeded by Rev. Gregory J. Pow- 
ell, in October, 1899, and he has since held the position. Mr. 
Powell has always been on the alert to push forward our Con- 
gregational interests. 

At the time that an attempt was made to establish the Louisi- 
ana lottery in the state, the Congregational churches and pastors 
were second to none in their interest .and service in the matter. 
Superintendent Simmons was aroused as perhaps he never was 
before in his life, and threw himself into the struggle with all 
his might. He probably contributed more than any other man 
to its defeat, unless it be honest John Miller, the governor, whom 
the little Congregational church at Dwight had raised up to be 
the first governor of North Dakota. 

The first fellowship meeting in the valley, and which arranged 
for the organization of the General Association of Congregational 
Churches in North Dakota, was held in Fargo October 16 and 17, 
1882, and was an occasion of great interest. It immediately fol- 



lowed the meeting of the Minnesota state association. The ser- 
mon was preached by Rev. John H. Morley, of Winona, Minn. 
Among those present were Rev. Walter M. Barrows, D. D., of 
New York, senior secretary of the Home Missionary Society, and 
many brethren from Minnesota. The brethren from North Da- 
kota were present in good numbers. This meeting was devoted 
to quite an extent to the cause of Christian education, and allu- 
sion will be made to it in connection with Fargo college. Rev. 
A. J. Pike was moderator of this gathering, and entered most 
heartily into its spirit. A trip was made as far north as Grand 
Forks, and steps were taken to establish a Congregational church 
in that thriving new city. 

In connection with the early history of the church at Grand 
Forks is the pastorate of Rev. A. L. Gillette, now professor in 
Hartford Theological Seminary. Mr. Gillette took up the work in 
the spring of 1885, and entered into it most energetically. That 
season a neat and commodious house of worship was built, cost- 
ing about $5,000. A nice pipe organ was also secured through 
the efforts of the pastor, and was the first one installed in a Con- 
gregational church in North Dakota. Mr. Gillette did a splen- 
did work during his pastorate, which lasted something over two 
years. While the church had in it some very strong men, a part 
of the membership got discouraged and in 1898 gave up and sold 
the building. The giving up the church at Grand Forks was a 
great loss to our cause, and especially in the northern part of the 
state. We have again started work at Grand Forks, and now, 
under the faithful work of Rev. J. H. Batten, pastor, it is gain- 
ing ground rapidly. 

Rev. W. B. D. Gray, then superintendent of Congregational 
Sunday-school and Publishing Society in South Dakota, was pres- 
ent at the state association in 1886, which was held at Grand 
Forks. He presented the question to the brethren of having a 
superintendent for North Dakota. They most heartily favored 
the plan, and it was suggested that Rev. William Ewing, then 
pastor of the Plymouth church, Fargo, was the man for the posi- 
tion. Mr. Ewing was duly appointed, and entered upon his 
duties April 1, 1887. His genial way, his quiet persistence, his 
good judgment and business capacity greatly endeared him to his 


brethren, who were very sorry to have him leave the state, but 
in August, 1891, he resigned and accepted a similar position in 
the state of Michigan. His work in North Dakota was productive 
of the best results. 

In March, 1889, Kev. E. H. Stickney, of Harwood, was appoint- 
ed a missionary of the Congregational Sunday-school and Pub- 
lishing Society. He accepted and entered upon the duties at once. 
For the first year he gave his whole time to the Sunday-school. 
From that time he gave one-half of his time to the missionary 
work until September, 1891, when upon Superintendent Ewing 
leaving the state he was appointed superintendent in his place, 
and has continued in that position to the present time. 

At the meeting of the State Association in 1883, the matter 
of Christian education again received careful attention. After 
a full discussion it was unanimously voted that in the judgment 
of this association the time had arrived when it was expedient 
to establish within its bounds an institution of learning under 
the control of our denomination, and to this end a committee was 
appointed to receive proposals for a location and take such other 
preliminary measures as might be necessary. The association 
then engaged in a season of prayer with reference to the estab- 
lishment of the proposed college. Subscriptions were taken in its 
behalf and $1,400 were subscribed. In 1886 at the meeting of the 
General Association at Grand Forks, the committee reported that 
taking everything into account they believed that Fargo was the 
most advantageous place for its location. The committee to 
secure the incorporation of the college consisted of Revs. H. C. 
Simmons, R. A. Beard, G. B. Barnes, Thomas Sims, A. L. Gillette, 
A. J. Pike, L. R. Casey, Esq., D. B. Clayton, Esq., and Rev. Wm. 
Ewing. The school was opened October 4, 1887, in the Masonic 
block, with Prof. F. T. Waters as principal. In this modest, un- 
pretending way Fargo college began its work. Another event of 
very much importance about this time was the election of Rev. 
G. B. Barnes as president of the institution, in August, 1888. The 
election of a president indicated the progress that the institution 
was making, and President Barnes took hold of the work with 
much energy and enthusiasm, going East and making many 
friends for the college. These early years abounded in struggles 


and burdens, and it seemed as though there was nothing else 
but one continued burden. But the year 1889 brought light and 
encouragement as no preceding year had; for, through the gen- 
erosity of James P. Gould, of Buxton, and his sister, the college 
received a bequest easily worth $35,000. With these generous gifts 
steps were taken early in the year 1890 for the erection of a col- 
lege building, and it was called the George H. Jones Hall, in honor 
of a deceased brother of Mr. Gould. Through gifts from J. Q. 
Adams, Esq., and Dr. D. K. Pearsons, of Chicago; James J. Hill, 
and the Congregational Educational Society, the college was still 
further helped. Dill Hall was built in 1907 through the liberality 
of M. T. Dill, of Prescott, Wis., Dr. Pearsons and others. The 
Fargo College Conservatory of Music was founded in 1887, and 
since that date has advanced steadily until today it is one of the 
leading schools of music in the Northwest. In June, 1892, Presi- 
dent Barnes resigned and Rev. R. A. Beard, D. D., succeeded to the 
presidency. The following years were trying ones in the business 
circles, but President Beard was hopeful and courageous in it 
all. But, as he was much devoted to the pastorate, in the sum- 
mer of 1894 he resigned to accept a call to Pilgrim church, 
Nashua, N. H. By common consent, as it were, all eyes turned 
to Superintendent Simmons, and he was elected president. These 
w^ere very dark days for the college, and it seemed at times as if 
it would have to close its doors, but President Simmons labored 
hard and faithfully. While working to raise the endowment, 
President Simmons, on December 20, 1899, without a moment's 
notice dropped dead. The blow was a very heavy one to bear, 
but friends rallied to the support of the college, and it was 

Rev. John H. Morley, L. L. D., of Minneapolis, was the next 
president. He took hold of the work with great enthusiasm and 
courage, and pressed it forward as rapidly as he could. In Janu- 
ary, 1907, Rev. Edmund M. Vittum, D. D., of Grinnell, la., was 
chosen president and is proving most efficient. 

Congregationalism, as we have seen, had small beginnings in 
the valley. There has never been a large Congregational ele- 
ment and for the most part the churches are made up more of 
persons who were not originally Congregationalists than those 


who were. Congregationalism has entered most heartily into the 
work of building up the Redeemer's kingdom. She has always 
sought to co-operate with her sister denominations in this great 
w r ork, and to her belongs much credit for the splendid results that 
have already been accomplished, as well as the promise of greater 
ones in the coming years. 


By Geo. B. Winship. 

The first publication of any kind in the Red River Valley was 
a little missionary paper issued near the middle of the last 
century at St. Joe, or Walhalla, as it is now named, by Father 
Belcourt, a Catholic missionary. Father Belcourt had sent to 
him a small press on which he printed occasionally a little paper 
in the French language, descriptive of his work among the 
Indians. So far as known, no copies have been preserved. 

The "Bismarck Tribune," the pioneer newspaper of North 
Dakota, was first issued on July 6, - - by Col. C. A. Lounsberry, 
and its publication has been continued without intermission until 
the present time. The Northern Pacific railroad had then been 
completed only as far as Moorhead. Construction of this line 
toward Bismarck was under way, but the line was not open for 
traffic. The town, a typical frontier tent settlement, had been 
laid out. Colonel Lounsberry had first visited the valley in April 
of that year as a representative of the "Minneapolis Tribune," 
with the purpose of securing material for an article for the 
"Tribune," descriptive of the construction of the road and the 
development of its territory. On his return he arranged for the 
shipment of a printing plant to Bismarck, and he returned and 
started the "Tribune." In 1878 he sold out to M. H. Jewell and 
Stanley Huntley. The "Tribune" company, with Mr. Jewell at 
its head, still publishes the paper. 

In 1873 William Thompson started the "International" at 
Fargo, but the time was not ripe for newspaper work in the valley 
and the paper lasted but a few months. 



One of the directors of the Wells, Fargo Express Company 
had offered a bonus of $500 for the publication in Fargo of a 
paper to be called the "Express." In order to secure this bonus, 
A. H. Moore and Seth Boney started a paper under that name. 
The first issue was printed on June 7, 1873, at Glyndon, on the 
press of the * ' Gazette. ' ' A number of issues were published, but 
as the paper was not printed in Fargo the bonus was not paid. 
Later, G. J. Keeney and A. J. Harwood bought a news press and 
job press, set them up in Fargo and, on January 1, 1874, turned 
out the first number of the regular Fargo "Express." The office 
was a 12x14 structure, unplastered. and it stood in the middle of 
what is now Broadway, just north of N. P. avenue. The "Mir- 
ror" was started the following year by E. S. Tyler. In that year 
E. B. Chambers, publisher of the Glyndon "Gazette," moved 
his plant to Fargo, bought out the two Fargo papers, and con- 
solidated the three under the name of the "Times." In 1878 the 
"Times" became the "Republican," under the management of 
Major A. W. Edwards and J. B. Hall. 

In Moorhead the Red River "Star" had been established by 
W. D. Nichols, who won the distinction of being the first Red 
River Valley editor to suffer for conscience' sake. He had pub- 
lished an article reflecting on the military branch of the govern- 
ment, and Captain Wishart, of the Twentieth Infantry, stationed 
at Fort Seward, near Jamestown, made a special trip overland to 
Moorhead in the winter of 1872-3, to remonstrate with the editor. 
The meeting is said to have been an eventful one, but when the 
dust settled the captain was discovered in the street, while the 
editor could be seen through the broken windows sweeping type 
from the floor into a dust pan, and quietly smoking his pipe, to 
which he had clung all through the fracas. 

On July 6, 1874, the first number of the Grand Forks "Plain- 
dealer" was issued by Geo. H. Walsh. Mr. Walsh had published 
the West St. Paul "News," but it had been discontinued. He 
came to Grand Forks in the employ of the steamboat company, 
and, believing that he saw an opening for a paper, had the old 
"News" material shipped overland and by boat to Grand Forks. 
Two years later he sold the paper to N. W. Spangler, who was 
succeeded after a couple of years by D. McDonald and Frank 


Witt. Walsh regained possession again, and in 1880 he sold out 
to W. J. Murphy, who started a daily edition in 1881. In 1882 
the plant was burned, but it was immediately replaced. In 1889 
Mr. Murphy sold the "Plaindealer" to a company organized by 
Rev. H. G. Mendenhall, then pastor of the Presbyterian church, 
now holding a pastorate in an eastern city. Associated with him 
were S. S. Titus, J. Walker Smith, John Birkholz, A. S. Brooks 
and other local men. Mr. Mendenhall took an interest in politics 
and liked newspaper writing, but he wearied of the drudgery 
connected with the work, and soon retired from active connec- 
tion with the paper. After several changes in administration, 
the "Plaindealer, " with its Associated Press morning franchise, 
was sold to the Herald Printing Company. After this the "Her- 
ald" became the morning paper and the " Plaindealer " the even- 
ing publication. More changes followed. W. D. Bates secured 
an option on the paper, and published it for a short time. He 
was succeeded by Geo. H. Teague as business manager, and Brad 
Hennessy as editor, though W. L. Wilder was the responsible 
backer of the institution. James Ward followed as manager, and 
a little later the paper was sold to E. C. Carruth and W. E. 
McKenzie, of Crookston. Mr. Carruth moved over and took 
personal charge. In 1905 A. D. Moe, who had been publishing a 
stock market paper at South St. Paul, bought the "Plaindealer," 
and after a little over a year he sold out to a new company headed 
by C. A. McCann. This company was followed by another 
headed by Geo. E. Duis, the name of the paper was changed to 
the "Evening Press," and it became a Democratic paper. In 
1908 the paper was discontinued, and the plant was moved to 
Fargo to be used in starting the new Fargo "Daily News." 

In 1878 Major A. W 7 . Edwards, who soon became one of the 
best known newspaper men in the Northwest, with J. B. Hall, 
established the Fargo "Republican," which absorbed the 
"Times," In 1879 Major Edwards retired from the "Repub- 
lican" and established the "Argus," the first daily paper to be 
issued in North Dakota. President Hill, of the Great Northern, 
aided in financing the enterprise, and after a few years, by reason 
of the inability of Major Edwards to meet maturing obligations, 
Mr. Hill became the sole owner of the paper. Major Edwards, 


with H. C. Plumley, established the "Forum" in 1891, and the 
"Forum" absorbed the "Republican," which Edwards had estab- 
lished years before, and which had passed into the control of 
J. J. Jordan. 

The career of the "Argus" was a stormy one. Mr. Hill em- 
ployed several men to manage the paper for him, the Republican 
state committee took a hand, and practically every man who was 
ever engaged in newspaper work in Fargo served time on the 
"Argus." In 1898 the Fargo "Morning Call" was established 
by J. J. Jordan, and it soon absorbed the "Argus." In March, 
1909, the "Call" was bought out by the "News," which had been 
established the preceding summer as a Democratic daily. 

The Grand Forks "Herald" was established by Geo. B. Win- 
ship in 1879. The material from which the paper was published 
had been used for two years in the publication of the Caledonia, 
Minn., "Courier," and the publisher hauled it to Grand Forks 
by wagon. The first issue was printed on June 26, 1879, and the 
paper has been under an unchanged management since that time. 
In 1881 the "Daily Herald" was issued, the paper being then 
an afternoon publication. Since the change with the "Plain- 
dealer," already referred to, the "Herald" has been a morning 
paper. Several years ago, in order to provide for the extension 
of its business, the business was incorporated, with a capital of 
$40,000. Increased later to $50,000. This has since been doubled. 
Geo. B. Winship is president of the company; E. E. Rorapaugh, 
vice-president ; H. L. Willson, treasurer and manager, and Geo. 
C. Gladen, secretary. W. P. Davies is managing editor of the 
newspaper, and W. L. Dudley, associate editor. The "Herald" 
is published in its own building, and the company carries on a 
large bindery, job, bank and office supply business. 

In the fall of 1879 Dr. S. B. Coe started the Valley City 
"Times," which was later consolidated with the "Record," a 
paper established in 1886. S. A. Nye, for several years editor of 
the Devils Lake "Inter Ocean," bought the "Times-Record" in 
1899, and sold it in 1906 to a local stock company. The paper 
is now edited by F. E. Packard. F. A. Ployhar is business 

In 1880 the Casselton "Reporter" was founded by F. E. Kil- 


bourne. C. E. and H. II. Stone bought it in 1892, and in 1895 they 
sold it to Franklin Potter. 

Col. W. C. Plummer established the Cassefton ''Republican" 
in 1883, and he published it until 1894, when it was merged with 
the "Reporter." 

The Caledonia "Times" was established as a weekly in 1880, 
by A. B. Falk, who continued the publication there for several 
years. When Hillsboro was made the county seat of Traill 
county the paper was moved there, but was finally discontinued. 

The Acton "News" was established as a weekly in 1880, by 
Frank M. Winship. Acton was then a thriving trading point in 
Walsh county, being located on the river, but the extension of the 
railroad north from Grand Forks drew trade away from it, the 
town was deserted, and the plant was taken to Grafton, where the 
"News" was continued. Subsequently it was merged with the 
Grafton "Times," under the name of the "News and Times." 

In 1878 P. A. Getchell established the Pembina "Pioneer." 
The paper was bought in 1881 by R. H. Young. The Pembina 
"Express" was established in 1883 by F. A. Ward-well, with whom 
George Thompson became interested. Within a few years the 
two papers became consolidated under the name "Pioneer 
Express," and the combined paper has been published under the 
management of Wardwell & Thompson ever since. 

The Mayville "Tribune" was established in 1881 by James 
HcCormick. In 1884 it was purchased by E. I. Smith, and in 
1891 it was bought by its present proprietors, Larin Bros. 

In the spring of 1882 H. C. Hansbrough, afterward United 
States senator, with a partner named Briscoe, established the 
Grand Forks "Morning News" as a morning newspaper. Later 
it was changed to an evening paper, but it lasted but a few 
months, and the plant was moved to Devils Lake, where the 
' ' Inter Ocean ' ' was started. The ' ' Inter Ocean ' ' is still controlled 
by Mr. Hansbrough. 

The Larimore "Pioneer" was started in 1882, by W. M. Scott, 
who had been connected with the Grand Forks "Herald" for 
some time. Mr. Scott sold out and moved West, and the paper 
passed into the hands of H. F. Arnold, who also bought out the 
"Leader," established by S. F. Mercer. 


The "Broadaxe" was started in Fargo in 1882, and after a 
number of years it was moved to Lidgerwood, where it is now 
published by John Andrews. The St. Thomas " Times" was estab- 
lished in 1883, by Hager Bros. It is still published by Grant 
Hager, of the original firm, who has added to his possessions the 
Grafton "Record," a paper published for many years by E. H. 

C. E. Stone started the Wheatland "Eagle" in 1884, and sold 
it later^ to Wellington Irysh. 

The Casselton "Blizzard" was established in 1884, but it was 
discontinued after a few months. 

The Buffalo "Express" was founded in 1888, by B. S. Griffith, 
who was succeeded by George S. Townes, who has since removed 
from the state. 

The "Tidende, " a Scandinavian paper, was established at 
Grand Forks in 1885. It was later removed to Minneapolis, and 
is now published there. 

The Fargo "Morning Sun" was started in 1893, by William 
Matheson, but it flickered out in about a year. 

The "Commonwealth" was established at Bismarck in 1889 
and moved to Fargo some years later, being conducted by E. J. 
Moore, now Grand Recorder of the A. 0. U. W. In 1894 it passed 
into the control of the populists, and made a strong fight for that 
party. It was then managed by Fred Huth, Charles Foust, and 
Elmer Evans. Later it was published by Frank Irons and Frank 
Cage, and it was finally discontinued. 

The "Daily News" Company, with W. R. Bierly at its head, 
established the Grand Forks "Daily News" in 1889. For sev- 
eral years the paper was very active in politics, and it did vig- 
orous work for the populists. About the beginning of 1896 the 
paper passed from the control of Mr. Bierly, and after a pre- 
carious existence of a few months, it was taken over on July 1 
by a new company, which had been organized to promote the 
cause of Senator Hansbrough and his associates in that campaign. 
The daily edition of the paper was suspended immediately after 
the re-election of Senator Hansbrough, in January, 1897, and the 
weekly died a natural death about a year later. 

In 1890 the "Sunday Leader" was established at Grand 



Forks by W. M. Grant, a member of the "Herald" staff. Grant 
was a vigorous and picturesque writer, and the paper was a lively 
one while it lasted, but there was no field for it, and it was dis- 
continued after a few months. 

The "Normanden," a Scandinavian paper, was established in 
Grand Forks in 1888. For several years it was under the man- 
agement of H. A. Foss, and under his management it stirred 
things up in every political campaign. There have been several 
changes in management, but the paper has for ten years been 
operated by a stock company of which P. 0. Thorson is the 
principal member. It has broadened out until it is one of the most 
influential and widely circulated Scandinavian papers in the 

The Fargo "Posten," another Scandinavian paper, was estab- 
lished in 1889 by F. Kopperdahl. It was succeeded by the 
"Dakota," and later by the "Farm," which is published by A. A. 

In 1898 Frank Wilson established, at Bath gate, a paper which 
he printed on pink stock and called the "Pink Paper." The 
paper has been one of the most vigorous Democratic papers in 
the state. 

For several years A. T. Cole has published the "Searchlight" 
in Fargo. The paper is a weekly political publication, and it 
has wielded considerable influence. 

The "Record" was established at Fargo in 1894 by Colonel 
Lounsberry. It was a monthly magazine devoted to historical 
and descriptive matter, and it was a very interesting publication. 
It was issued for several years, but the removal of its proprietor 
to Washington and the difficulty of getting any one to handle it 
made it necessary to discontinue it. 

The "Evening Times" was established at Grand Forks in 1906 
by a stock company headed by Senator Hansbrough. The paper 
covers the evening field for the northern part of the valley. J. 
D. Bacon is president of the company, and the paper is managed 
by N. B. Black. Geo. W. Davis is editor. 

In addition to the valley papers, there have been many pub- 
lished in other parts of the state. The Jamestown "Alert" was 
founded in 1878 by Marshall McClure. Ten years later he sold 


out, and after establishing papers at Devils Lake and Williston 
he went to Colorado. Returning about 1902 he started the Minot 
"Optic." Later he started the "Politician" in Fargo, but the 
paper did not succeed. McClure died in 1906, after being out of 
the newspaper business for some little time. 

The Jamestown "Capital" was published in 1882 by Will H. 

Wesley Morgan established the Ellendale "Leader" in 1882. 

The LaMoure "Chronicle" was established in 1883 by Frank- 
lin Potter, who disposed of it to the present proprietor, Walter 

During the past few years papers have sprung up all over 
the central and western part of the state. 

The papers now published in the North Dakota valley counties 

Richland County "Globe-Gazette," Wahpeton; "Times," 
Wahpeton: "News," Fairmount; "Reporter," Walcott; "Mon- 
itor," Lidgerwood; "Broadaxe," Lidgerwood; "Pioneer," Wynd- 
mere; "Enterprise," Wyndmere; "Herald," Abercrombie; 
"News," Hankinson. 

Cass County "Express," Buffalo; "Herald," Hunter; "Tri- 
bune," Kindred; "Eagle," Wheatland; "Forum," Fargo; 
"News," Fargo; "Reporter," Casselton; "Topics," Tower City; 
"Record," Page; "Fram," Fargo; "Searchlight," Fargo. 

Traill County "Banner," Hillsboro; " Statstidnde, " Hills- 
boro; "Blade," Hillsboro; "Fremtiden," Hillsboro; "Tribune," 
Mayville; "Farmer," Mayville; "Republican," Portland; "Free 
Press," Hatton. 

Grand Forks County "Herald," Grand Forks; "Times," 
Grand Forks; "Normanden," Grand Forks; "Pioneer," Lari- 
more ; ' ' Gleaner, ' ' Northwood ; ' ' Times- Vidette, ' ' Inkster ; ' ' Sun, ' ' 

Walsh County "Record," Grafton; "News and Times}," 
Grafton; "Gazette-News," Park River; "Journal," Minto; "Tri- 
bune," Edinburgh; "Republican," Park River; "Times," Fair- 
dale; "Budget," Adams; "Enterprise," Adams; "Citizen," Con- 
way; "Posten," Grafton. 

Pembina County "Pioneer-Express," Pembina; '* Times," 


St. Thomas; "Pink Paper," Bathgate; "Echo," Drayton; 
"Chronicle," Cavalier; "Chronotype," Neche; "Mountaineer," 
Walhalla; "Call," Crystal; "Independent," Hamilton. 

The principal papers published in the Minne